China: soda ash output expected to rise by 1 million tons in 2005

China“s soda ash production has been increasing by more than one million tons per annum since 1999, making it a major producer and exporter of the chemical, according to the China Soda Ash Industry A..

China“s soda ash production has been increasing by more than one million tons per annum since 1999, making it a major producer and exporter of the chemical, according to the China Soda Ash Industry Association. The country“s soda ash output exceeded 11 million tons in 2003, surpassing the United States for the first time to become the world“s number one producer. Output in 2004 rose nearly 13.5% to reach 12.5 million tons. In the first five months of 2005, the country produced 5.56 million tons of soda ash, up 13% year-on-year. The association attributed the increase in 2005 mainly to new production from the 300,000 tons/year project of Huaerrun in Jiangsu Province, the 200,000 tons/year project of Hebang in Sichuan Province and the 100,000 tons/year project of Zhongxing in Henan Province, all of which came on stream in late 2004. It predicted that output in 2005 will increase by more than one million tons over 2004. The country“s export of soda ash products has also expanded. China exported 1.43 million tons of soda ash in 2004, up by 0.18 million tons on 2003. Exports in the first five months of 2005 reached 0.7123 million tons, up 16% year-on-year.