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This report analyzes the worldwide salt market (sodium chloride), including crystallized (dry) salt and salt contained in a brine solution. For salt in a solution, only the weight of the salt content is considered. The scope of this study covers captive salts manufactured for industrial purposes (such as chemical manufacturing) and salt traded in the open market.
Historical data for 2008, 2013, and 2018 and forecasts for 2023 are provided in metric tons. Data are also provided in US dollar terms for salt demand by market.
The major markets for salt are:
food processing, which includes salt consumed directly by households (including table salt) as well as salt used by food processors and restaurants
Other markets for salt include water treatment, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, rubber and metal processing, oil and gas drilling, textile manufacturing, and glazes used in ceramics production.
Demand is also segmented by production method (solar evaporated salt, rock salt, brine, and vacuum evaporated and other methods).
The global salt market stood at 314 million metric tons in 2018 and is forecast to climb 1.9% annually through 2023 to 346 million metric tons, driven by an increase in demand for salt used in the chemical processing industry, specifically in the production of chlor-alkali chemicals.
Key Findings in the
Global Salt Study:
Key Market Trends Through 2023
Due to its size, chemical manufacturing will offer by far the best opportunities for increased salt sales. Construction of new caustic soda facilities and expansions at existing plants will boost output capacity and demand for raw materials used in the production process.
Increases in salt usage by food processors across the globe will remain steady, driven by rising personal incomes worldwide and growing urbanization in smaller countries, which will boost the consumption of packaged and convenience foods.
Sales to livestock feed producers and distributors will continue to grow as rising personal incomes lead to an increase in the consumption of animal proteins in a number of countries around the world.
Key Regional Trends Through 2023
The Asia/Pacific region, led by China and India, will remain the largest market for salt in 2023, when it will account for 45% of worldwide sales.
The Africa/Mideast region will post among the fastest increases, driven by industrial development throughout the region, particularly expansion of chemical and food processing and other manufacturing activities.
Demand for salt in Western Europe and North America – which are both economically developed regions – is expected to accelerate from the pace of the 2013-2018 period, though the drivers of demand will differ:
Gains in Western Europe will largely stem from the chemical manufacturing market.
Gains in North America will benefit from the region’s large road deicing market, though growth in durable goods output will also boost gains.
Key Production Trends Through 2023
Solar evaporation will remain by far the most common method for extracting salt in 2023, accounting for 40% of worldwide output:
This method’s low costs relative to the more energy intensive rock salt mining and brine extraction processes will support gains.
A number of industrializing countries located in the Africa/Mideast and Asia/Pacific regions possess climates that are ideally suited for the production of solar salt, further supporting output increases.
The vacuum evaporation process will also record gains, supported by healthy growth in China, where higher purity standards are gaining importance in both the chemical manufacturing and food processing industries.
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the 314 million metric ton global salt industry. It presents historical demand data (2008, 2013, 2018) and forecasts (2023) by product type (solar evaporated salt, rock salt, brine, and vacuum evaporated and other salt), market (chemical processing, road deicing, food processing, and livestock), and region (North America, Central and South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia/Pacific, and Africa/Mideast). The study also evaluates market share and competitive analysis on industry competitors including Cargill, China National Salt Industry, Compass Minerals, K+S, and Rio Tinto Group.