Extremely mild winter in North America – Reduction of de-icing salt capacity

In a previous blog-post, I reported about layoffs in the Windsor Salt mine as a result of the extremely mild winter season. A few days ago, Compass Minerals reported fiscal 2024 second-quarter results. Winter weather in core markets during the second quarter of 2024 was exceptionally weak. It marked one of the mildest quarters in over 25 years. Compass Minerals’ de-icing salt sales volumes declined 22% due to a combination of exceptionally mild weather and lower committed bid volumes compared to the last winter season. As a consequence, production at Goderich mine was curtailed to reduce inventory levels in the coming deicing season. The company laid about 22% of the mine’s workforce temporarily off.

North American prices for de-icing salt continue to increase

The lower volumes partially offset by a 7% increase in average highway deicing selling prices. The price increase is a continuation of a long-term trend.

European 2023/2024 winter season – Average sales and higher prices in Northern Europe

Europe winter seasons were different for Northern Europe, and the southern Alpine regions. The results of K+S, as well as quarterly imports into Sweden and Norway show that sales volumes were similar to previous years. Prices increased from previous years, and K+S reported significantly higher prices for de-icing salt in its Q1 2024 report. The core markets for K+S de-icing salt sales are primarily Central- and Northern Germany, and neighboring countries.

Lower sales and price pressure in Central- and Southern Europe

Sales of de-icing salt in European countries along the alps were at the medium lower end compared to previous winters. Swiss Saltworks reported below average sales of de-icing salt, and also Salinen Austria reported average sales in the last quarter of 2023, a weak start into 2024, and pressure on prices for road salt.

The topic will be presented in more detail at the Salt Forum 2024, in November in Abu Dhabi


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