Soda ash production in the United States rose for the second
consecutive month in July 2018 to the year’s
highest monthly production figure, according to data from the
US Geological Survey (USGS).
Soda ash production reached 1.07 million tonnes in July, up
by 11% from 961,000 tonnes in June and 50,000 tonnes more than
the previous 2018 monthly high of 1.02 million tonnes in
The year-high for monthly production came at a time when
soda ash producers were widely reported as being sold out. But
figures in the second quarter of the year were slightly
irregular because US production figures wobbled when Ciner
Resources suffered an issue with one of its calcining
This meant that 64,000 tons (equivalent to 58,000 tonnes)
was taken out of the company’s annual total for
the three months ending June 30, compared with the
corresponding period in 2017.
In May, when Ciner experienced its issues, US companies
produced 952,000 tonnes.
The company revised its annual sales volume, believing that
the production losses cannot be made up, but did not disclose
the level at which it is now projecting full-year sales.
In a second-quarter earnings call, Ciner Resources chief
executive officer Kirk Milling said that the domestic sales
price in the US had also decreased by 0.6%.
Fastmarkets IM’s latest assessment of the price
for soda ash, natural, large contracts, fob Wyoming, was
$200-230 per tonne on September 13.
Export trends continued from earlier this year, showing
greater consumption of US-origin soda ash in South America and
Volumes to Europe decreased by 77% during the first five
months of the year compared with the same period in 2017,
according to USGS data.
Tonnages sold and shipped to Europe fell to 59,700 tonnes in
January-May 2018 from 259,000 tonnes in the first five months
The latest data highlighted the fact that Mexico, Brazil and
Indonesia continued to consume the bulk of US soda ash,
accounting for 42% of all exports, or 1.39 million tonnes, from
January to June.
In the first six months of the year, Mexico accounted for
635,000 tonnes or 19% of US exports, Brazil for 461,000
tonnes or 14%, and Indonesia for 302,000 tonnes or 9%.