Trona is a non-marine evaporite mineral that is the main source of sodium carbonate, accounting for more than 1/4th of the global soda ash production. It requires a lower amount of energy to produce soda ash with trona as compared to the Hou or Solvay process, minimizing the carbon footprint and opening up avenues for biogas power generation. Rapid industrialization in emerging economies is the primary driver in the global trona market with the widespread adoption of trona in manufacturing soda ash being of paramount importance. National governments are implementing policies to lessen air pollution benefiting the trona market. Trona plays an essential role in eliminating hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and sulfuric acid from greenhouse emissions. Trona allows power plants to minimize carbon emissions via dry sorbent injection methods offering immense growth opportunities during the forecast period.
Ease of Trona Extraction and Unabated Demand Make U.S. Vital in Trona Market
U.S. coal-fired industrial boilers and power plants have long recognized the need to reduce SO2, SO3, Hg and HCl emissions to comply with the Air Pollution Control Act, 1995. Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) units have been built in several industrial boilers to streamline processes. Therefore, greater use of FGD systems is expected to boost demand in the North America trona market. U.S. trona miners are functioning at maximum capacity to cater to the demand for natural soda ash. The extraction of natural trona is less onerous and more cost-effective than the manufacturing of synthetic trona. The U.S trona market is intensely competitive with price being the main consideration among customers. Imports have a minimal impact on market dynamics as the cost of natural soda production in the country is quite low in terms of energy and raw material.
Glass Bridges in China Demand Trona in Spades Improving Prospects of all Stakeholders
The trona market in Asia Pacific region cannot be overlooked in favour of North America as China consumes huge volumes of soda ash for flat glass production. Its domestic soda ash supply is well augmented by trona imports from the U.S. Trona is useful in glass tables, shelves, cabinets, and furniture providing immense scope for major stakeholders actively involved in the trona market. For e.g. – In 2016, the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge that consists of 120 glass panels opened in the Hunan province. Another glass bridge in Hubei province had nearly eight times as many glass panels directly benefiting the trona market.
In 2018, the trona auxiliary and processing power plant set up as a joint venture between China and Turkey began operations near Ankara. China provided the financial and technical expertise, and this project will make the Ciner Group cement its dominance in the trona market. Already the largest producer of soda ash, the manufacturing unit is poised to bring 2200 jobs to the local economy and rivals would do well to take note.
Cut Costs in Glassmaking Industry to Reap Handsome Rewards in the Trona Market
Soda ash had a dominant share of the global trona market in 2020 with the demand for container glass in the construction, pharmaceutical and automotive industries being critical. Glass accounted for more than half of the global trona market as a large portion of glass is manufactured using soda ash as a fluxing agent. However, rising manufacturing costs in the glassmaking industry could pose a challenge in the trona market. All components such as wages, transportation, depreciation, and raw materials must be accounted for with energy consumption and raw materials comprising the largest share thereby necessitating urgent cost control strategies.
COVID-19 Auto Manufacturing Slump Only Temporary Blip on Global Trona Market
Around 50% of soda ash is utilised into glass production, of which the automotive industry is one of the largest consumers. The overreliance of automakers on steel and aluminium should deliver a shot in the arm for the trona market. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, automotive production in 2020 was 78 million vehicles. Even though this represented a decline of 16% when compared to 2019, demand will rebound quickly as the desire for personal mobility remains unchanged in the Asia Pacific region that comprises more than half of global auto production.
Ciner Resources Corporation and ANSAC Go Their Separate Ways in the Trona Market
Prominent companies in the global trona market analysed in this report are Genesis Energy, L.P., Ciner Resources Corporation, Tata Chemicals Ltd., OCI Company Ltd., , Nirma (Searles Valley Minerals Inc.), FMC Corporation,, Eti Soda Elektrik and Solvay Chemicals.
In 2020, Ciner Resources Corporation ANSAC announced their agreement for the former to exit ANSAC by December – a year earlier than previous plans. Until then, Ciner Corp. had used ANSAC as its exclusive exporter for U.S. produced soda ash. Post-exit, Ciner Resources Corp. assumed full responsibility for its marketing, sales, and logistics efforts. To ensure a smooth transition, ANSAC agreed to purchase a small quantity of soda ash and aid their logistics for a limited timeframe. Both companies believe that this will enable them to optimize their supply chains, increase customer satisfaction, and guarantee product quality in the trona market.
Key Elements Included In The Study: Global Trona Market
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