A new soda factory in China lowers the prices of sunglasses



Inner Mongolia’s Berun Group recently inaugurated a new soda ash plant in China. pv magazine spoke about the impact of the new facility on sunglasses prices with Marguerite Morrin, Research Director of Chemical Market Analytics at OPIS. He said the plant produces natural soda ash, which is cheaper than synthetic soda ash.

China’s Inner Mongolia Berun Group started production at a new natural soda plant in Inner Mongolia, China at the end of June. Located in Alxa Right Banner, the plant is expected to reach a capacity of 5 million metric tons (MT) by the end of this year, equivalent to approximately 13.8% of China’s total soda ash production. Before the factory was opened, China’s soda production was about 31 million tons.

Prior to the start-up of this new plant, approximately 94% of China’s soda ash capacity was synthetic,” said Marguerite Morrin, director of research and analysis in OPIS’s Chemical Market Analytics division. pv magazine. “Production of natural soda ash, which occurs through a mining process, is typically much cheaper than synthetic soda ash.”

Inner Mongolia’s Berun Group has invested $2 billion in the new facility and plans to allocate another $3 billion to expand its capacity to 7.8 million tons in the future.

According to Morrin, the new factory could contribute to lowering the prices of soda and solar glass.

“Warfare prices had already started to fall before the plant came on line, but this increased capacity could push prices even lower,” he said.

Morrin explained that the average production cost of natural soda in the United States, where most natural production occurs, is about $100/MT.

“China’s natural production costs should be comparable, if not slightly lower,” he noted.

“In August 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, China’s export prices averaged $161 per MT FOB, while in August last year prices rose to $420 per MT FOB,” he said. “This year we see very different market dynamics, with spot export prices averaging $245-$270 per MT FOB China today.”
The world’s total soda ash capacity is currently around 74 million tons. It is mostly located in USA, Europe, Middle East and India.

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

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