2010 World Soda Ash Analysis

Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI) has announces the completion of the 2010 World Soda Ash Analysis, which covers past and future developments in supply, demand, production, capacity, trade, pric…

Chemical Market Associates, Inc. (CMAI) has announces the completion of the 2010 World Soda Ash Analysis, which covers past and future developments in supply, demand, production, capacity, trade, pricing and profitability of the global soda ash industry for the period 2004 to 2014. After an annual increase of almost 5% per year since 2004, world soda ash demand dropped about 9.5% in 2009, with a loss in volume of about 4.6 million metric tons compared to 2008. Demand in 2009 should be close to the 2005 volume, and it will probably take some years for demand to come back to pre-recession levels. World soda ash operating rates averaged only 74% of capacity in 2009 due to weak demand, probably the lowest rate the industry has ever seen. Soda ash is a basic chemical product with a primary application in the glass industry, and demand for the product moves quite closely with GDP. However, in 2009, worldwide demand was closer to the trend in industrial production rather than GDP. World industrial production in 2009 is expected to decrease by about 9.5% below the 2008 level coming closer to a forecast decline in GDP of 2.1%. CMAI“s forecast for a decrease in soda ash demand of 9.5% is therefore in line with the projected industrial production decline. The soda ash industry is in an evolutionary phase due to the difficult environment the industry faced a decade ago, and the changing global economic environment. The rapidly developing economies of China, India and Russia are pushing global changes, creating both opportunities and challenges for this industry. However, the difficult economic situation of the industry in 2009 will bring more changes in future years, and will be challenging for the soda ash industry, due to global overcapacity. CMAI, with offices in Houston, New York, London, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Singapore and Shanghai, provides services combining consulting analytics and expertise for the global chemical, plastics, fibers and chlor-alkali industries.