Here is update around falling demand for sulfuric acid as indicated by the closing of this Canadian Copper smelter which makes H2SO4 as byproduct like lot US Refinery customers who buy refinery sulfur by-product as part of removal process. This is reason the article has big link to crisis in the making.
Sulfuric Acid is so much a part of several manufacturing process that years before any of the industry stats could be trusted or were available, the tracking of it’s volume into and out of a country was used as index of industrialization and manufacturing capability in several key industry sectors.
Keep an eye on this the demand/supply balances can & will likely go both ways with big swings in volume – Especially given the big impact the global financial recession is having on global demands and manufacturing levels. Fortunately a lot Gasification type process also use captured Sulfur in manufacturing Fertilizers.
Most developed countries are locked into having to use heavier/higher sulfur crude & product sources which require increasingly higher level of sulfur removal to comply with increased Environmental standards (most unnecessarily in my view since all of mans global manufacturing emissions does not match level of CO2 & SO2 emitted by the +12 active volcanoes & volcanic-rift sea floor). But with the increased cost the Environmentalist/EPA really just end up pushing industry out of developed countries into developing countries where it goes often unmonitored and is removed to lesser degree ….. except for any products like Low Sulfur Gasoline/Diesel that it must export because it lacks enough local demand.
It is likely to create problems as it moves in both directions until the balance and markets return to state balance – unlikely in near term given level interference by Governments/Environmentalist/Industries acting in their own self interest.