In the future, under the influence of access conditions and integration, the concentration of domestic industries is expected to further improve
As the mother of chemical industry, soda ash is widely used as an important basic chemical raw material. After 2000, China’s soda ash industry has developed rapidly in the world, with an average annual capacity growth rate of 2.45%. From 2004 to 2010, the production capacity grew rapidly. In 2015, the production capacity was once reduced, and after 2015, the overall production capacity growth declined.
The world’s soda industry originated in Belgium in 1865. Solvay discovered the key technology of industrial production of soda ash, namely Solvay soda process. In 1865, Solvay established Solvay company, becoming the first soda plant. After 1870, Solvay established factories in Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. From the middle of the 20th century to the beginning of the 21st century, with the discovery and exploitation of local natural soda, the United States became the main producer and exporter of soda ash in the world. Since 2000, China’s soda ash production capacity has gradually increased, with a larger proportion in the world. In 2000, the global soda production capacity was 44.72 million tons, the output was 34.21 million tons, and the operating rate was 76%. North America was the main soda supply area, accounting for 32% of the global soda production capacity, while China’s production capacity accounted for 24% of the global soda production capacity, accounting for 8.34 million tons. Since 2003, China’s soda production capacity has been increasing. By the end of 2018, China’s soda production capacity has reached 29.59 million tons, and the global capacity has reached 70.33 million tons, accounting for 48% of the world’s total. China, North America and Western Europe account for 80% of global capacity.
The production process of soda ash mainly includes ammonia alkali process, natural alkali process and combined alkali process. Globally, ammonia alkali process units are widely distributed, accounting for 47%; natural alkali process units account for 24%, mainly distributed in the United States, Turkey and China; combined alkali process units account for 23%, almost all of which are distributed in China.
China’s soda ash output can be self-sufficient, with the export volume accounting for 5% of the national output, and the export place is mainly Southeast Asian countries, with an import dependency of about 1%. In 2018, China’s soda production reached 26.11 million tons, with an operating rate of 85.9%. After 2015′s elimination of production capacity and policy access restrictions, the operating rate of the soda industry increased to a high level.
The top ten soda production enterprises in the world are Solvay group (7.5 million tons), Chuangshi soda industry (4.4 million tons), Tangshan Sanyou (3.4 million tons), Shandong Haihua (3 million tons), Sina resources (2.8 million tons), China Salt Group (2.63 million tons), Tata chemical North America company (2.5 million tons), Kazan soda company (2.5 million tons), Henan Jinshan Chemical Industry (2 million tons), Central Chemical Company (190 million tons) Ten thousand tons. Solvay group’s soda production capacity is distributed all over the world. Chuangshi and Sina resources and Tata chemical are natural soda enterprises in the United States. Tangshan Sanyou, Shandong Haihua and China Salt Group are the top three soda producers in China. The Cr4 of global soda industry is 0.25, that of China is 0.35, and that of USA is 0.9. The global soda industry is relatively scattered. China’s soda industry is a low concentration oligopoly, while the US soda industry is a high concentration oligopoly.
In recent years, the global demand for soda ash has made great progress with the rapid development of production. Globally, glass is the main downstream of soda ash, accounting for 52% of the demand for soda ash; soap and detergent account for 13% of the demand for soda ash; inorganic chemicals account for 12% of the demand for soda ash, and the first three account for 77% of the demand for soda ash. Regionally, China, Western Europe, North America and Southeast Asia are the main consumers of soda ash, accounting for 79% of global consumption. From a national perspective, China, the United States, Turkey and India are the main soda producers, while the United States and Turkey are the main soda exporters.
In terms of consumption, China is consistent with the world. Glass, household glass and photovoltaic glass are also the main consumption areas, followed by detergent and inorganic salt. The main demand areas of soda ash in China are in South China, North China and East China, which are the main production areas of glass.
North America accounts for 20% of global production capacity, but only 11% of demand, and about half of production is exported.
C industry characteristics
The characteristics of soda industry are as follows:
Resource dependent low threshold basic industries
Among the raw materials of soda ash, coal, natural gas, raw salt and limestone are all natural resources, which are resource dependent. The United States is rich in natural alkali resources, with good quality of soda ash and high market share of soda ash export. The production methods of soda ash, such as natural soda process, combined soda process and ammonia soda process, are relatively early processes, and the technical threshold is not high, so the soda industry is a resource dependent low threshold industry. Soda ash is an important basic industrial raw material. No matter it is soda ash or glass, there is no competitive substitute in the current technical conditions.
Soda ash has great influence on raw salt and glass in the industrial chain
The price of coal and natural gas has a great influence on the cost of soda ash. The capacity of raw salt exceeds 110 million tons, the capacity of soda ash industry is about 30 million tons, and the consumption of salt is calculated as 1.5 tons, about 4500 tons, with an impact on raw salt of about 40%. The main downstream of ammonia synthesis is urea, which has a certain impact on the soda industry, but the impact of soda on the ammonia industry is relatively small. Coal and natural gas are mainly used for heating and power generation, and chemical demand accounts for less than 10%. Soda ash has little influence on the price of coal. About 60% of soda ash downstream glass, 0.2 tons of soda ash is needed for one ton of glass, accounting for 20% – 30% of glass cost. In the whole industrial chain, coal and natural gas have great influence on soda ash and glass, while soda ash has great influence on raw salt and glass, little influence on synthetic ammonia and little influence on soda ash.
The concentration of soda ash in China has increased
At present, the concentration of domestic soda ash market has been improved after the previous large capacity investment, elimination of capacity and industrial integration. The market share of the top 4 domestic soda ash enterprises is 0.35, and that of the top 8 enterprises is 0.54. In the future, restricted by access conditions and continuous integration, the concentration of domestic soda industry is expected to continue to improve. According to the “access conditions for soda industry” implemented on June 1, 2010, the threshold for new domestic soda plants is 600000 tons for combined soda process and 1.2 million tons for ammonia soda process. According to this estimate, the investment of new equipment is more than 1 billion yuan, and the construction period is about 3 years. The access conditions for soda ash industry also requires that the new production capacity should actively adopt advanced process technology, select energy-saving and environmental protection equipment, and realize online detection of main sections and equipment parameters and adopt DCS (distributed) control system.