Soda Ash Industry:

The global soda ash industry is presently operating at approximately 75% capacity utilization in line with demand. Soda ash prices are currently in the range of US$ 160-175. Global soda ash production advanced from 45 mn metric tons in 2007 to 46 mn metric tons in 2008. China and United States are the major producer of soda ash globally with 64.3% (China-39.6% and US- 24.8%) of total global production in 2007. In November 2008 onwards China soda ash market suffered from significant drop in demand, the production dropped from the level of 4.8 million in Q1 to 4.2 million tons in Q4 in FY2009. The Government of India has imposed a 20% safeguard duty for a six month period to protect the soda ash industry from Chinese dumping. The Chinese government has also reintroduced a 9% export incentive for producers leading to increased production in China. US demand looks to be stabilizing, while demand in UK continues to be encouraging, the rest of the Europe is witnessing a decline. Domestic soda Ash demand continues to be healthy mainly on the back of traction in the detergents and chemicals segments. Indian soda ash industry is globally competitive in terms of price and quality, India has Six Soda Ash manufacturers with a total installed capacity of 31.61 lakh MT per annum. It is expected to increase to 34.11 lakh MT by year 2010. Current domestic demand is 22.54 lakh MT per annum with demand growth of about 5% per annum. Demand in India is expected to remain at these levels for some time to come.

Fertilizer Industry

The fertilizer industry is in a unique position to positively contribute to global challenges, such as food security, poverty alleviation, water conservation, clean energy production and climate change. The Indian fertilizer industry has played a pivotal support role to the Indian agriculture. The main fertilizers used include phosphate based fertilizers, nitrogenous fertilizers, and complex fertilizers. Today India is the third largest fertilizer producer in the world. Macro developments have refocused interest on the agriculture not only in India, but also globally, such as the spurt in food prices, low food inventories and stagnant agriculture growth. For a brief period last year in December, the prices of DAP had sharply fallen. However, they have recovered since. India’s Urea imports now account for over 30 % of the total country’s demand. Going forward with increased gas availability from newer finds by Reliance and ONGC, greater supply to meet this demand can be found domestically. Subsidies granted to the Fertilizer industry by the Government play a very vital role. Government’s ability to provide timely subsidies is a key factor influencing the performance of the Industry.

Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd.

HOCL was established in the year 1960, by Govt. of India with the objective of attaining self reliance in basic organic chemical needs. HOCL manufactures basic organic chemicals and intermediates for dyes, rubber chemicals, pesticides, resins, laminates, paints, drugs and pharmaceuticals, etc.

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Tata Chemicals Limited

TCL is one of India’s largest producers of inorganic chemicals. TCL was established in 1939 at Mithapur, by the Tata Group for manufacturing of chemicals and over the years it has expanded its operations into soda ash, edible salt (Tata salt, I-Shakti), phosphatic fertilisers, urea, cement etc. The growth has largely been driven by inorganic growth opportunities worldwide. TCL has its plants in Mithapur in Gujrat, Haldia in WB and Babrala in UP.

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United Phosphorous Ltd

United Phosphorus Ltd (UPL), promoted by Mr. Rajju Shroff, is a leading global manufacturer of generic Agro-chemical products.

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