PODCAST: Soda ash markets adapt to competitive landscape amid tumultuous US-China relationship, uneven demand trends

Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela


LONDON ICIS (ICIS)–The soda ash market narrative reminds one of Dickens’ A tale of two cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times […]we had everything before us, we had nothing before us.”

From the vertiginous highs of the post-pandemic boom to the slumbers brought in by high borrowing costs, soda ash players are navigating rougher seas with lows elongated compared to typical cyclical troughs and highs that had exhausted anyone involved in selling the molecule for over two years. Likewise, the promises of a boom in consumption via the lithium carbonate to support lithium-ion battery-run electric vehicles is also tempered by the idea that global oversupply could through the molecule back into the depressed mode and low margin era it has known for decades.

Demand from the all-important flat glass applications servicing the construction and auto industries have stabilized after a year-long slow decline and is likely to remain slower in H2.

Regionalism is at all-time highs, and supply from China is once again in the line of fire.

ICIS soda ash editors Anne-Sophie Briant-Vaghela from Europe, Helen Lee from Asia, and Bill Bowen from the US talk about the changing market conditions as China switches from net exporter to net importer in Q1-Q2.

Edited by Meeta Ramnani


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