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Continuous High Supplies of Soda Ash Suppress Existing Demand in Asia
Continuous High Supplies of Soda Ash Suppress Existing Demand in Asia

Continuous High Supplies of Soda Ash Suppress Existing Demand in Asia

  • 16-Jan-2024 4:50 PM
  • Journalist: Li Hua

The Asian Soda Ash market exhibited a predominantly weaker trend with the prices relatively stable. Despite the increase in the downstream demand in the glass industry, high inventory levels overlapped the demand scenario to impact the pricing momentum during the first half of January 2024. Additionally, the insufficient surge in international inquiries played a pivotal role in the recent decline of Soda Ash prices. Manufacturers and traders of Soda Ash in the region exercised caution, anticipating the market's directional shift in response to supply chain dynamics and the anticipated demand in the glass manufacturing sector.

A recent analysis showed that the southward trend observed in Soda Ash prices during the first week of January in the Asian market is significantly influenced by delays in regional inquiries amidst lackluster downstream demand and ample stock availability in the domestic market.

As the week of January 12, 2024, concluded, the inventory of domestic Soda Ash enterprises, including external inventories from some manufacturers marked a 13.9% rise compared to the similar month of 2023. This week witnessed an uptick in the operational load rate of Soda Ash manufacturers, leading to a further increase in output. End-users predominantly procured goods for immediate requirements, while new orders were generally fulfilled, resulting in overall growth in Soda Ash manufacturers' inventories and a significant dip in the local and export prices.

The domestic market of Soda Ash importing countries, including South Korea, Thailand also experiencing a persistent decline, with a sluggish overall market. The middle and lower segments of the Soda Ash market exhibit a subdued enthusiasm for purchasing, adopting a cautious approach and showing less inclination to buy in bulk. Soda Ash manufacturers are actively accepting orders, demonstrating flexibility in shipping and prioritizing volume over pricing.

Downstream users in coastal areas remain cautious, making small purchases primarily for essential needs, often with a strong counter-offer sentiment. Despite a decline in traders' quotations, the slow decrease is influenced by factors such as shipping costs. Buyer-seller negotiations encounter difficulties due to significant differences in mindset, and actual Soda Ash market transactions remain limited. The domestic float glass market is experiencing stability with partial gains, and overall trading conditions are fair. East China's market maintains stable operations, and most factory shipments remain relatively steady. In the short term, original film manufacturers have temporarily increased prices, with certain transactions completed, while maintaining a slightly flexible pricing policy.

As per ChemAnalyst, the prices of Soda Ash are expected to remain on the downward side in the APAC region as the supply of Soda Ash is relatively sufficient. Most downstream users adhere to demand-driven purchasing, and Soda Ash manufacturers in the region are predominantly offering favorable terms for shipments, actively working to reduce their inventories. Consequently, the regional Soda Ash market is expected to face continued southward pressure in the short term.

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