18 June 2010 17:49 [Source: ICIS news]
PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Poland’s Ciech conceded on Friday that there has been no recovery this year in its core business, soda ash.
Prices had weakened in the first half of this year against those of last year but had now stabilised, giving the company some hope of an improvement in the second half of 2010, it added.
Looking at Ciech’s prospects, financial services company Citigroup said: “The outlook for soda ash prices remains weak. In 2009 Ciech benefited from a relatively strong contracted soda price; however, this year the company has already signalled a weaker demand environment, which was confirmed in lower pricing and a decline in segment margins in 1Q10.”
Citigroup added: “A slight revival is being seen in the pricing of Ciech’s organic products, toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), epichlorohydrin (ECH) and epoxy resins, although this reflects pressure from higher materials costs related to crude, and in this segment margins are lower than a year ago.”
Ciech is Europe’s second-largest soda ash producer, according to the company.
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