Compass Minerals reported its Q3 2020 salt revenues to be US$141.3M, an 11% decline from prior-year results. Salt sales volumes fell 13% but average selling prices rose by 1%. Lower pre-season demand for de-icing salt in North America was the driver of the reduction in sales volumes compared to Q3 2019. This was partially offset by y-o-y increases in de-icing sales in the UK, plus sales to chemical producers in North America. Average selling prices were up because of an 8% increase in consumer and industrial average sales prices compared to 2019, which followed rises for the company’s non-de-icing products.
By the end of the North American highway de-icing bid season, Compass Minerals’ bid volumes were up 4% compared to prior-bid season results, but average awarded bid prices fell by 11%. This followed two consecutive seasons of bid price increases of 8% and 18%. Compass Minerals has reduced its expected 2020 salt sales volumes outlook to 10.5-10.8Mt because of lower-than-expected awarded bid volumes, but its revenue and EBITDA expectations remain near prior guidance levels.
The North American de-icing market for the upcoming 2020/2021 winter has been highly competitive following reduced bid levels after the mild 2019/2020 winter and resulting high stock levels. In common with other regional salt producers, Compass Minerals has seen a rise in prices for non-de-icing products, especially in the consumer market as COVID-19 led to greater home consumption of table salt.
Roskill’s NEW Salt: Outlook to 2030, 19th Edition report is about to be published and includes analysis of industry trends in supply, demand, trade and prices, as well as providing forecasts to 2030, profiles of the main producers, a section on production costs and a section on the sustainability of the salt supply chain via consideration of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors. Click here to download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information.