Soda ash is the most important raw material of the basic chemical production, mainly uses in glass, light industry, chemical industry and metallurgical industry and so on. In recent years, China's soda ash industry has been developed significantly in terms of the rapid growth of China's economy; and its international competitiveness has also improved. Meanwhile, in order to meet the growing demand of downstream industries, the output of soda ash has increased gradually in China. Due to the environmental issue, Europe and the United States and other countries have reduced production of soda ash, but, on the other hand, the demand of soda ash in international market continues to grow, the shortage of supply has pushed the price rising, all of these elements have created more opportunity for China's soda ash exports and improved the development of China's soda ash industry.
2007 was the best time for China's soda ash industry, and the principal features are the shortage of supply and the continued rising price. The output of soda ash recorded 17.718 million tons in 2007, an increase of 13.1 per cent year-on-year, increased 2.6 percentage points than last year; exported 1.706 million tons, down 5.7 per cent year-on-year; the prices from 1550 yuan / ton in the beginning of the year up to 1850 yuan / ton in the end of the year, an increase of 20 per cent.
In 2008, the domestic soda ash prices has continued rising, reaching a recording high level to 2,080 yuan / ton in the Mar 2008, an increase of 34.2 per cent. The reason is the rising cost and strong demands caused the price up.
At the global market, soda ash is mainly used for glass production, which accounting for 50 per cent of the world's output; the rest is for chemicals and synthetic detergent. Currently in Chinese market, soda ash is mainly used in: 44% of the glass industry, 25% of chemical industry, 6% of light industry and 7% of metallurgical industry and 18% others.
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