LONDON, February 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Worldwide demand for salt is predicted to rise by 2.7%py between 2013 and 2018, but Asia, particularly China and India, will continue to drive growth in demand, according to a new report by London-based Roskill. Asian salt consumption alone is projected to rise by nearly 5%py to 2018 and by then, the region is forecast to account for nearly half of the world salt demand.
Much of the additional demand up to 2018 will originate from the chemicals sector, with growth in world chloralkali production lifting salt demand by almost 30Mt over the period. Coupled with the growth in salt required for predicted increases in global synthetic soda ash production, this means a positive outlook over the next five years. There will also be growing salt consumption in food markets, as higher consumption in developing countries more than offsets the fall in per capita consumption in industrialised areas on health grounds. The one salt market that is very difficult to predict is de-icing, where annual demand is highly dependent on weather, rather than economic conditions, and may fluctuate by up to a quarter in line with the severity of winters in North America and northern Europe.
The growth in Chinese requirements will in part be satisfied by production capacity increases from technological improvements and modernisation of harvesting techniques. However, a growing share of Chinese consumption will be supplied by imports suitable for the chemical industry. Leading exporting countries such as Mexico, Chile, India and Australia are expanding capacity in order to meet this growth in demand.
As well as being a leading consumer, China is the largest salt producer worldwide, in an international industry dominated by just seven leading producing countries. Together, these seven account for almost 65% of the world production total, China has maintained its position despite the fact that Chinese salt production fell by 3.3% between 2011 and 2012 following adverse climate conditions that affected the salt harvest and a weak demand in the chloralkali market. Its salt output in 2013 is expected to remain at 2012 levels. Any slight increase in its domestic salt demand will be met by imported material. Apart from the top seven countries, salt is produced in over 110 other countries around the world.
Asia is the leading regional salt producer, and has seen its share of world production grow to 35% in 2012. This is mainly because of the rise in Chinese production up until 2011, but also due to the growing importance of India as a salt producer. North American and European production has declined over the last five years. However, some regional outputs vary greatly depending on winter weather conditions which influence the demand for de-icing salt.
Despite its significant domestic production, China is still a net importer of salt, as is the second largest producer, the USA. Out of the five next-largest producing countries, Australia is the only one with totally export-oriented production. Mexico is the second largest exporter of salt, shipping around 80% of its output while Canada and Germany export around 40% and 15% of their production respectively.
Recorded world trade in salt represents around 20% of world production. Trade declined by almost 18% between 2011 and 2012, because of the exceptionally cold winter conditions of 2011 that pushed trade volumes to record levels. The opposite then occurred in 2012 with mild winter conditions lowering the amount of salt traded. Estimated world trade in salt in 2013 was almost 10% higher than in 2012.
Salt supply is relatively concentrated among a few leading producers. In 2013, seven companies, each with production capacity of more than 10Mtpy, had a combined capacity of 114Mtpy, equivalent to some 40% of world output. K+S is the world's largest salt producer with plants in Europe, North and South America. CNSIC in China is the second largest, and Compass Minerals is the third largest with plants in Europe and North America.
Salt: Global Industry Markets & Outlook is available for £4150 / US$6400 / €4900 from Roskill Information Services Ltd, 54 Russell Road, London SW19 1QL ENGLAND. Tel: +44-20-8417-0087. Fax: +44-20-8417-1308. Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.roskill.com/salt
Note to editors
Roskill Information Services Ltd. of London, UK is a leading provider of multi-client and bespoke market research services to the minerals and metals industry.
For further information on this report, please contact Alison Saxby, firstname.lastname@example.org or +44-20-8417-0087.
SOURCE Roskill Information Services