With the growing application base of soda ash, manufacturers are also implementing new strategies in order to stay competent in the market. Manufacturers are focusing on expansion of global footprints and have entered into mergers and acquisitions to sustain the intense competition. A number of manufacturers have entered into long term supply agreements with major end users such as glass manufacturers, detergents manufacturers and metal processing industries. Some of the manufacturers have also increased their production capacities to cater the growing demand in the domestic market and reduce dependency on imports.
Soda ash is progressively being employed as a fluxing agent to decrease the melting point of the furnace, which is needed for the melting of silica. The use of soda ash has decreased the overall energy consumption for glass manufacturing. There has been a substantial rise in production of glass over the past few years owing to the high demand from automotive and building and construction industries. Flat glass and container glass are mainly manufactured using soda ash. Container glass is also being increasingly used in food and beverage and pharmaceutical packaging industries, thereby creating significant traction in the market. Apart from glass manufacturing, soda ash is also utilized for the manufacturing of a number of chemicals such as sodium silicate, sodium bicarbonate and percarbonate and sodium chromate and dichromate. It is also used for the production of dyes, coloring agents, adhesives, and sealants, among several others. It is also utilized for preparing pulp in the paper and pulp industry.
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According to a report published by Persistence Market Research (PMR), the global soda ash market is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.5% from 2018 to 2026. The market was worth US$ 16,375.6 Mn in 2017 and is likely to touch US$ 22,162.5 Mn by the end of 2026.
Burgeoning Demand for Soda Ash for Soaps and Detergents Production to Supplement Market Growth
Light soda ash is being used for the manufacturing of soaps and detergents. It often is infused to improve the cleansing properties of soaps and detergents. The use of soda ash in detergents is an economic solution and is widely being adapted, especially in developing countries of Asia Pacific region, such as India and ASEAN countries. The role of soda ash in soaps and detergents manufacturing is that it acts as a builder or filler and gives smoother surface to the particles. Sodium carbonate i.e. soda ash primarily acts as a precipitating builder. Soda ash removes water hardness of water, helps in maintaining alkalinity, stops soil from re-deposition during washing and it helps to emulsify and eventually wash off oils and greases. Soda ash has replaced the conventionally used phosphates used in detergent industry. Additionally, soda ash is also being used in the production of a number of other cleaning products.
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Utilization of Substitutes in Several Industries to Pose Threat to Growth
Glass manufacturing, predominantly container glass and flat glass manufacturing, is responsible for a significant share of approximately 50% in the overall consumption of soda ash. However, over the recent past, there has been an increasing trend of using alternatives, such as plastics, and recycled glass, among others. In food and packaging industry, plastics and aluminum have largely replaced glass containers. This particular aspect will have a significant impact on market growth. In the soaps and detergents industry, a number of manufacturers have introduced liquid detergents. Conventionally, dry powder detergents were a major end-use for soda ash. With the prevalence of this trend, there has been an expected decline in the sales of soda ash.