The Role of Asian Chemical Companies

Additional salt demand in the next decade will mainly come from Asian chemical production. Producers of chlor-alkali, and synthetic soda ash in the region, often receive salt from export – oriented producers in Australia, Mexico, and India. Other producers in countries with similar geographic and climatic conditions are also considering to install large scale solar salt plants for this market segment. Such plans at different stages of development exist in Pakistan, Africa and the Middle East.

A Decade of Growth

Over the past ten years, chlor-alkali – and soda ash production in Asia grew at annual rates of 3.1% and 2.3%, respectively. The resulting, additional salt demand adds up to about 32 million tonnes. 

Chlor-Alkali Production Growth

Asian Chor-Alkali Production Indices in the 2010 – 2023 Period

Soda Ash Production Growth

Asian Soda Ash Production Indices in the 2010 – 2023 Period

Future Capacity Additions Suggest Further Growth

In the coming years, the chemical producers in most Asian countries announced capacity additions. This suggest that growth could continue over the next decade. Growth rates will be similar as in the past decade. Additional salt demand in the Asian chemical industry adds up to about 36 million tonnes.      

Estimation of Additional Future Salt Demand in Asia

Only a part of the additional salt demand will be supplied by imports. Chinese producers continue to increase their production capacities, and will be able to satisfy most of the countries’ increasing demand. In addition, more than half of the additional soda ash production will be in the form of natural soda ash which does not consume salt. Several million tonnes of additional salt demand in the Indian chemical industry will also be supplied captively, and not add to the demand for salt imports. Overall, additional demand for imported salt for the Asian chemical industry over the next ten years is likely to be in the range of 20 million tonnes.  


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