The soda ash markets are reported weekly by ICIS in an Asia report and a global report. Both reports cover the dense and light grades, though Asia tends to focus in spot, while Europe and the US have contract prices.
This market news and analysis gives intelligence on market overviews, graphs, production data, freight rates and any other key factors influencing the market and prices at the time of pbulication. Whether you are buying or selling soda ash this useful business tool will give you confidence to make decisions about the market.
Our editor gives their expert view
Soda Ash Overview Transcript
Soda ash or sodium carbonate is non-combustible and non-toxic. It is produced predominantly by one of two major routes. The longest established method is synthetic chemical process known as the Solvay ammonia soda process. The second is by the treatment of naturally mined Trona ores.
Soda ash is mainly used in the production of glass, which accounts for around half of global consumption.
Other significant applications are in the soaps and detergents and chemical industries.
The dense grade is used mainly for making glass, while the light grade is used in the detergents and soaps industry.
The Asia soda ash market is generally quite slow moving. The main suppliers to the Asia market are China, the US, and Indian producers
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Soda ash: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2016
The US soda ash market is expecting producers to separately announce price increases for 2017 during July, but no such announcements have been made at this time. The US has seen strong demand this year, largely driven by the recovery in the glass sector due to robust construction activity and sustained automotive sales.
Stable conditions are expected to prevail in the European market. Quarterly contract prices were assessed stable going into Q3. European players conclude business on an annual basis and in steady conditions Q1 prices are expected to persist throughout the year. The seasonal maintenance period, expected to last to late summer, is not expected to impact supply as producers build stocks to meet contractual commitments.
Major China producers eyed price hikes in export offers for August shipments and firmer prices on the domestic front on the back of a drawdown in inventories as several major soda ash producers in China have started a heavy turnaround schedule. However, it remains to be seen if demand conditions in Asia will support further hikes as buyers’ response remains sluggish, a producer noted.
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Soda Ash Methodology
About Soda ash
Soda ash (sodium carbonate) is a white powder with no odour. It is stable and is not flammable, explosive or toxic. It is friable and slightly hygroscopic. Dust is slightly irritating to the eyes, mucous membranes and respiratory tract.
Soda ash is produced mainly by two routes. The longest established method is the synthetic chemical process known as the Solvay ammonia-soda process. The second method is by the treatment of naturally mined trona ores.
The main use for soda ash is the production of glass. It is also used in industrial chemicals and detergents. The remainder is used in applications including pulp and paper, water treatment and flue gas desulphurisation.