Global demand for salt is forecast to rise 2.6% per year to 301.5 million tonnes in 2013. Growth of salt demand in developing countries will more than offset the expected contraction of demand in the developed economies of North America, Western Europe and Japan. The large chemical manufacturing market will generate the majority of additional demand between 2008 and 2013 due to strong expansion of chemical manufacturing activity in China. China was the largest consumer of salt in 2008, mostly due to its sizable chemical industry, but also because of the dietary needs of its 1.3 billion residents. China accounted for nearly a quarter of global salt demand in 2008 and is projected to continue to be the fastest growing major national market, driven by robust expansion of its economy. Because China’s domestic salt production is not expected to keep up with demand, China is also forecast to be the fastest growing salt importer.
Demand for salt in India is also forecast to grow at an above-average pace through 2013, as continuing industrialisation increases its use of salt in chemical manufacturing and other industries. Shipments of salt from India will grow even faster, as India increasingly exports its salt to other countries in the region.
Chemical manufacturing is the largest market for salt, accounting for more than 50% of demand in 2008. Most demand in this market is generated by chloralkali and synthetic soda ash producers, which use salt as their primary raw material. Nearly half of the salt consumed by the chemical manufacturing market is concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for the largest share of global chemical manufacturing activity. Globally, this market for salt is forecast to expand faster than average between 2008 and 2013.
These and other trends are presented in World Salt, a new study from The Freedonia Group.