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 Q2 2016
The European soda ash market is expected to be steady going forward, following second quarter price rollovers from the first quarter levels. Prices in Europe are largely settled on an annual basis, and mid-year price changes are unlikely in stable conditions. The seasonal maintenance period, expected to last through late summer, is not expected to impact supply as producers are likely build stocks to meet contractual commitments ahead of planned maintenance work. Demand is expected be steady from all key downstream sectors and the market is expected to remain balanced overall.
A major soda ash plant outage in February in China led to heavy US soda ash exports to Asia in February and March, resulting in tight inventories and setting the stage for higher domestic contract prices for 2017. Producers are expected to announce price increases for 2017 contracts during Q2, according to sources.
The upward momentum in Asia’s soda ash prices has abated by late March as buyers deemed the recent tight supply-driven price spikes to be above their workable levels. Prices may undergo downward pressure going forward on rising output in China and as the downstream glass sector in China continued to languish amid oversupply conditions through to the downstream real estate sector.
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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.