US natural soda ash production jumps 10% in May

12 July 2013 23:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US natural soda ash production rose 10% in May from the previous month and up 18% from May 2012, according to a report issued today by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

May’s production of 985,000 tonnes was the largest since August 2012 and the second-highest production in the past 24 months, second only to the 1.02m tonnes produced in that month, according to the USGS report.

That brought inventories to 333,000 tonnes, a 17% increase from the previous month and up 37% from May 2012.

So far in 2013, production is up through May by 5.6% from the same period in 2012, according to the report.

Exports through April are up 11% from the same period in 2012, but down significantly, 20%, from March. Export sales have consumed more than half of US production in recent years and had enjoyed a growth rate of 15% through April.

The US is the world’s largest supplier of natural soda ash, derived from trona, a mineral found in abundance in parts of Wyoming. China leads in production of synthetic soda ash, but it is costlier to make. Much of the growth in demand for soda ash has come from the fast-growing economies of China and India.

The US is also the world’s largest exporter of soda ash, a key ingredient in the production of flat glass, container glass, detergents, water softeners and other products.

The largest US producers include FMC, OCI Wyoming, Solvay Soda Ash, Tata Chemicals of North America and Searles Valley Minerals.

By: Bill Bowen
+1 713 525 2653

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