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 Q4 2016
Major Chinese soda ash producers announced hikes of Chinese yuan (CNY)30-50/tonne for dense grade and CNY20-30/tonne for light grade soda ash since the end of August. Exports were offered at a steady-to-firm $195-200/tonne FOB China for dense grade, and at $190-195/tonne FOB China for light grade material. A couple of producers indicated that although higher export offers elicited weak buyer response, their stocks were limited going into October as the domestic supply imbalance has yet to ease. This followed a spate of soda ash plant turnarounds, export fixtures and buoyant domestic demand. A southeast Asia-based buyer in August opted to lock in their purchase from China for September and October deliveries, on expectations of firmer prices for both deep-sea and China origin cargoes during the traditional year-end peak demand season, as well as firmer freight rates. Separately, some importers in northeast and southeast Asia were offered small lots from Turkey and Iran, and these cargoes were currently being tested by the importers.
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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.