Global salt production has increased in 2013 after a decline in 2011 and 2012. The rise is attributed to reviving demand from the road de-icing and chlor-alkali markets on account of economic recovery in the U.S. and Europe.
Demand from the chemical sector, especially chlor-alkali and soda ash industries, is expected to drive the salt market. Additionally, winter demand from road de-icing market is another significant driver for salt market. However, salt is a volatile material and the difficulty in transportation might offset the market growth. New applications from the chemical sector are expected to bring demand prospects for salt market.
The market can be segmented, based on end-user applications, into five key market segments as chemical manufacturing, road de-icing, food processing, livestock and others. Globally, chemical manufacturing industry is the largest consumer for salt with major consumption in Asia Pacific, especially China and India. Food processing and road de-icing were other key consumers of salt on account of increased output as a result of general alleviation of global economic activities.
The market can be further segmented on the basis of production process as, solar evaporation of seawater, rock salt and brine extraction by solution mining. The solar evaporation of seawater process was the dominant production process globally.
Asia is the largest consumer as well as producer of salt with high demand from chemical manufacturing as well as food processing due to high industrial activities and large population. Asia was followed by Europe where the key demand is expected from the de-icing market. Major exporters of salt are the U.S.A, China and India.
Some of the major manufacturers in the salt industry includes Akzo Nobel NV, British Salt, Cargill Incorporated, China National Salt Industry Corporation, K+S AG, Dow Chemical Company, Tata Group, and United Salt Corporation among others.
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