Trends in the dominant chemical manufacturing market will continue to strongly influence growth in salt consumption, although road deicing and food production will also have a significant impact.
“Asia-Pacific is by far the leading and fastest growing regional market for salt based on its large chlor-alkali industry,” said analyst Carolyn Zulandt.
Food processing will continue to provide steady, yet slow growth in most countries, while demand for salt in road deicing is projected to drop back to more usual levels in countries that experienced harsh winters in 2013. Overall, China will continue to represent the largest salt market worldwide, while India is expected to register the fastest gains.
Trends in the production of chlor-alkali chemicals (chlorine, caustic soda and synthetic soda ash) will continue to have the most significant effect on regional salt demand. In the Asia/Pacific region, China and India are the largest chlor-alkali producers and have registered growth significantly above the global average over the past decade.
While advances through 2018 will decelerate due to excess supply, Asia will still register the best advances in salt demand in the chemical market over that time. In the US, growth in chlor-alkali production is expected to accelerate, benefiting from low natural gas prices and a strong construction market.
In contrast, Europe is expected to see stagnant-to-declining chlor-alkali output due to a weak pulp and paper industry and competition from chemical suppliers in Asia and the US.
Road deicing is the second largest application for salt worldwide, even though demand is concentrated in only a few large countries (the US alone controls nearly 60% of the market).
Food processing is expected to register average gains in most countries. In developed economies, health concerns regarding high sodium intake are leading to salt reduction initiatives. On the other hand, fast growth in processed food manufacturing is driving food salt consumption in developing countries.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019