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U.S. Soda Ash Production Falls Amid Low Producer Inventories

11:28 AM MST | December 10, 2010 | —LINDSEY BEWLEY

U.S. natural soda ash production fell 10% in September, to 828,000 m.t., compared with August, says the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS; Washington). The decline compares with an average seasonal drop of about 5% over the past four years. Analysts estimate that U.S. industry capacity utilization sank 7-percentage points in September, to 92%, nearly in line with the year-to-date average of 93%. Month on month, producer inventories decreased 18% in September, to about 150,000 m.t., or 5.4 days, a record low, USGS says. In comparison, producer inventories averaged 9.3...

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