Sodium hydroxide, also known as Caustic soda or Lye is arguably the most commonly used raw material in virtually all products. In soap making, its use is slightly higher than making other products. It is mainly used to hydrolyse fatty acids to form soap, but in other products such as Detergents, it is used as a pH buffer.
Many dealers of the commodity have taken advantage of the high demand in Kenyan market and hiked its price with more than 60%. This has subsequently resulted in high cost of production as reported by unsuspecting buyers (users) of it. Some sellers of sodium hydroxide are vending the chemical in as high as ksh 4,500 per bag of 25kg, others are creating artificial shortage in order to hike the prices.
We talked to Betty Industrial chemicals about the standard price and maintained that a kilogram must retail at least ksh 116 at most when buying in small quantities .
“The recent awareness of its use has led to high demand but this should not be taken advantage of…” asserted a city based stockist . Another importer cited the political impasse witnessed in the country over the past 5 months as the major cause of price hike because many importers had slowed down the Import of their merchandise.