HOUSTON (ICIS)–The third quarter was previously expected to be the rebound quarter for US liquid caustic soda, but prices are soft and the outlook for the remainder of the quarter is looking weaker. The US caustic soda market was supposed to see tight supply and firm prices prices with the resurgence of demand from a giant alumina refinery in Brazil and to cover production lost from a Braskem outage, also in Brazil. Those changes in the America’s market were learned by the market in mid-May, prompting a price spike in spot export markets and a record volume of caustic soda exports in June. However, the price spike was short lived. Following the record volume of exports for June, export prices in July and August softened. Demand to the alumina sector, partly because of the return of Alunorte to full production, has taken a downturn. That triggered a decline in alumina prices in an already soft industrial market roiled by tariffs and trade war uncertainty. Global aluminium prices are down 17% so far in 2019, according to data from the London Metals Exchange (LME). Alumina production, which consumes more than one-fifth of caustic soda production, is also off. Prices are down...