Things are looking pretty tough for Europe’s secong largest soda ash producer, Poland’s Ciech. First its privatisation was delayed as it struggles to refinance its Zl1.56bn debt burden. Now analysts predict weak demand for its core product due to competition from imports of natural soda sourced from Turkish trona mines.
Erste Bank said in a note: “Weaker market demand and competition from natural soda imported from Turkey to European markets are the main reasons for the weaker prices assumed for 2010.” It predcits the soda ash price obtained by the Polish company would fall from zloty (Zl) 711 ($249, €182)/tonne in 2009 to Zl 680/tonne this year.
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