24 March 2008 09:28 [Source: ICIS news]
SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--Chinese soda ash prices continued to climb above yuan (CNY) 2,000/tonne ($284/tonne) EXWH (ex-warehouse), a level it broke in early March, on high energy costs and strong demand, said traders on Monday.
Soda ash had traded at an average of CNY2,100/tonne EXWH in the past week on high energy and manufacturing costs, leading to reduced production which disrupted the balance between supply and demand, they added.
Rising costs for raw materials such as coal and salt also pushed up prices. Coal prices had doubled since the end of 2007 and salt values increased 10% from early this year to CNY300/tonne, said traders.
In addition, demand from glass metal-smelt industries was also rising, they added.
Operating rates at plants in northern China were high, except for Dalian Chemical in Liaoning province which was relocating its plant, said producers.
Mainstream average ex-works prices for dense grade soda ash were at CNY2,100/tonne in northwest China, CNY2,110/tonne in northeast China, CNY2,150/tonne in north and east China and CNY2,100/tonne in south China, they added.
Light grade material is CNY100/tonne cheaper than the dense grade.
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