Perspectives and forecast future salt demand
Part 2 – Soda Ash and Glass
Glass production accounts for more than half of the global soda ash consumption. On the longer term, glass production, for flat glass as well as for container glass is expected to continue its growth path as shown below for China and Europe. A growing population, and increasing disposal incomes will lead to growth in the main glass markets of construction, automotive and packaging.
Long – term Outlook
Short – term Outlook
On the short- and mid-term, glass production in the main producing countries and regions, i.e. China, Europe, and North America will decline with the upcoming recession. In the US, the number of housing starts as of November was again declining. In China, monthly glass production continued its downward trend. A reversal of this trend is not expected in the next months. As a result, salt consumption in the production of soda ash is expected to decline in the short-term, with declining consumption in the glass industry.
Glass Recycling Reduces Raw Material Requirements
In the longer term, glass production is expected to re-increase, but this will not translate directly into increasing soda ash consumption. Glass producers have committed to increase glass recycling rates in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The increasing use of recycled glass in turn, reduces the demand for raw materials, i.e. soda ash. A 20% increase of container glass recycling, as announced by the US EPA for the 2018 to 2030 period, translates into a similar percentage decrease of soda ash consumption. As a result, salt consumption in the production of soda ash is expected to grow only slowly in the longer term, and growth rates are expected to remain significantly below the expected growth of the glass industry.