The chemical industry accounts for almost 90% of the Chinese salt market. In recent years, average growth rates of the two main chemical end use segments, chlorine/caustic soda, and soda ash remained on average below GDP growth.
Reported production of raw salt shows a constantly decreasing trend, and increasing imports are required to satisfy the demand of a still growing demand. The trend of relatively slow growth of chlorine/caustic soda, and soda ash production, continued recently. The graph below shows monthly production volumes as reported by China National Bureau of Statistics:
In past years, export oriented producers in Australia, India, and Mexico could make up for domestic production losses and increase their imports faster than what could be expected from the growth rates of the downstream chemical industry.
New capacities are currently in planning and construction to satisfy the growing need of the Asian chemical industry. Future Chinese domestic salt production is an important variable with view the time it will take to absorb additional export capacities.