Outlook to 2030, 19th Edition

World salt trade has shown resilience in 2020 and exports look set to exceed 63.2Mt by the end of the year, around 15% less than world exports in 2019.

The fall is undoubtedly a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic activity around the world.  The regions most affected are forecast to be the EU (-3.5Mt), North Africa (-3.3Mt), South Asia (-2.2Mt), Oceania (-1.6Mt) and the CIS (-1.6Mt).

The fall in annual 2020 exports from the EU and North Africa may be less severe than projected.  Our forecast is based so far on part year data that is lower than usual because the mild second half of the 2019/20 winter led to reduced trade in de-icing salt.  If the start of the 2020/21 winter is severe, EU demand for and trade in de-icing salt will increase.

Exports from South Asia, mainly from India, are also expected to be affected (-2.2Mt) but the full year total will depend on the extent of a recovery in demand in East Asia, particularly in China but also in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.  This is also the case for shipments from Oceania (-1.6Mt), where exports from Australia are mostly to East Asia.

By contrast, exports from USMEC  (USA, Mexico and Canada), formerly known as NAFTA, are expected to grow slightly.

Estimated global exports in 2019 totalled around 74.7Mt, a slight fall of 1.4Mt from a record 76.1Mt in 2018.

On a national level, the main exporters are now India (mostly to East Asia especially China) and Australia (also mainly to East Asia but also South East Asia).  Exports comprise solar salt for use mainly in chemicals production, especially chloralkali.  Most German exports are to neighbouring countries within Europe and a high proportion is for the de-icing market.  Canadian and Chilean producers ship large quantities of mostly rock salt to the USA for use in de-icing.  A high proportion of Mexican solar salt exports are also shipped to East Asia for use in chemicals production.

Roskill is reviewing production at more than 300 salt production assets worldwide during research for this new report. Germany’s K+S remains the largest salt producer in the world for now but has put its Morton Salt North American business up for sale and is hoping this will be complete by the end of 2020.

Roskill experts will answer your questions…

  • Which salt markets will enjoy the highest growth rates to 2030?
  • What is the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)impact of world salt production, consumption and trade?
  • Is sufficient extra capacity in place to meet market growth to 2030?
  • What will de-icing salt prices in North America average this year?
  • Can Indian solar salt producers continue to take market share from competitors?

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