China’s Jiangsu Huachang cuts soda ash output to 60% capacity

17 April 2014 03:29 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s Jiangsu Huachang Chemical Industrial Co Ltd is running its 650,000 tonne/year soda ash plant at Zhangjiagang at 60% capacity because of depressed prices of the by-product ammonium chloride (AC), sources close to the company said on Thursday.

The unabated downtrend in prices of AC, coupled with mounting inventory pressure on the back of weak demand from the downstream fertilizer sector, prompted the soda ash producer to slash its plant operating rates on 13 April from the previous 100% capacity, they added.

It was not immediately known how long the company will run the plant at a reduced rate.

Prices of light grade soda ash resultantly rose on dwindling inventories.

Light grade soda ash prices in eastern China rose yuan (CNY)10-30/tonne to CNY1,350-1,460/tonne DEL (delivered) during the week ended 16 April, whereas prices in the south gained CNY20/tonne on the low end at CNY1,420-1,500/tonne DEL during the same period.

Soda ash is primarily used in glassmaking, the manufacture of other inorganic chemicals, detergents, flue gas desulphurisation, water treatment and in pulp and paper manufacturing.

By Helen Lee