Industrial Salts Market is forecast to reach US$ 16.7 billion by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 2.5% during the forecast period 2022-2027. Industrial Salts are primarily obtained from natural sources which include rock salt deposits that consist of sodium chloride and natural brine such as salty lakes and seawater. They are used for a wide range of applications such as Chemical Processing, Pharmaceuticals, Water Treatment, Oil and Gas, Electrolysis, Detergents & Solvents, and other applications. An increase in demand for industrial salts from the pharmaceuticals and oil & gas industry acts as major drivers for the market. According to a report published by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the overall volume of medicines used across the globe reached around 4.5 trillion doses by 2020 with an approximate cost of around US$1.4 trillion. On the other hand, strict environmental regulations associated with the extraction of salts may act as a major constraint for the market.
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 lockdown has impacted the industrial salts industry. Strict lockdowns all over the world interrupted the entire supply and trade of raw materials from manufacturing hubs like China, and India. This, in turn, resulted in slow developments and manufacturing of drugs along with severely affecting multiple companies that primarily depended on outsourcing. However, the industrial salts industry started gaining momentum during the end of 2020, owing to an increase in demand for medical drugs and vaccines used during COVID-19. For instance, according to a research report published on PLOS medicine, the cumulative volume of antibiotics that were sold in 2020 was about 16,290 million doses. Industrial salts are primarily used during the production of medicines and the preparation of saline solutions and intravenous formulas. Hence, the increasing demand for medical drugs required for the treatment of COVID-19 along with increasing demand for vaccines to be manufactured in bulk in many countries across the world resulted in the growth of the industrial salts market as it plays a significant role in the production of these drugs and vaccines. All of these factors will eventually lead to the growth of the market in the upcoming years.
Industrial Salts Market Segment Analysis – By Source
Natural brine held a significant share of over 30% in the Industrial Salts Market in 2021, owing to its easy availability as a natural source for industrial salts. Natural brine is readily available in salt lakes, underground, or seawater. It has a higher concentration of salt (sodium chloride) in comparison to rock salt. Industrial salts are commonly used for de-icing applications in which they are applied to roadways in order to lower the freezing point of any water it comes in contact with. Since natural brine is a solution of water and salt as opposed to rock salt which is a crystal of sodium chloride, that is not refined, natural brine can reduce the adherence of snow and ice to road surfaces when compared to rock salts. Moreover, natural brine has a lower freezing point than water alone, hence, salts obtained from brines are ideal for use in de-icing applications in comparison to salts obtained from rock salts. Hence, owing to these benefits, natural brine is primarily used to extract industrial salts in comparison to other sources.
Industrial Salts Market Segment Analysis – By Manufacturing Process
The conventional mining process held a significant share of around 37% in the Industrial Salts Market in 2021, due to the large availability of salt deposits and favorable landscape to support the conventional mining process. In this process, heavy machines and equipment are used to discover and locate the layers of salt that are covered by rock formations in underground or inside the mountain areas. The dry salt is then extracted from the rock layers with the help of mining methods. Salts obtained from the conventional mining methods are usually of high purity (around 99%), available in a wide range of grain sizes, and are extremely free-flowing in nature in comparison to salts obtained from vacuum evaporation, and solar evaporation process. Moreover, salts obtained from ancient rock deposits are readily available, and the conventional mining process can be operated at any given temperature and region for extraction of salts as opposed to vacuum evaporation, and solar evaporation processes.
Industrial Salts Market Segment Analysis – By Application
Chemical Processing held the largest share in the Industrial Salts Market in 2021 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.8% between 2022 and 2027, due to the increasing demand for industrial salts for the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and soda ash from the chemical processing industry. For instance, according to the American Chemistry Council, the annual production growth of the chemical industry increased by around 12.3% in 2021 in the United States in comparison to 2020. The total chemical capital expenditure increased up to US$ 33.5 billion by the end of 2021, an increase of 15.7% in comparison to 2020.
Furthermore, according to National Minerals Information Centre, the total value of the production of domestic natural soda ash reached up to US$ 1.5 billion in 2020, with an overall production of 9.7 million tons. According to recent insights from Eurochlor, the European chlorine production reached up to 807,437 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 6.1% in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2019. It also states that the production of caustic soda reached up to 207,739 tonnes during the fourth quarter of 2020, and is expected to increase in the upcoming years.
In this way, an increase in production activities from the chemical industry along with increasing production of caustic soda, soda ash, and chlorine will require the use of industrial salts as they are primarily used as raw materials during their production. This is most likely to lead to market growth in the upcoming years.
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Industrial Salts Market Segment Analysis – By Geography
The Asia Pacific held the largest share in the Industrial Salts Market in 2021 up to 31%, owing to the increasing demand of Industrial Salts from the chemical and oil & gas industries. For instance, recent insights from BASF, a leading company in the global chemical industry, states that China held the largest chemical market in the world, with a growth rate of 6.3% in chemical production in 2021 in comparison to 3.4% in 2020. This is followed by Japan with a growth rate of 1% in chemical production in 2021 in comparison to 2020. According to National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency, India held 6th place in chemicals sales across the world and contributed around 3% to the global chemical industry in 2021. The market size of the chemical sector in India was valued at around US$ 178 billion in 2021, and it is expected to grow up to US$ 300 billion by the end of 2025.
Furthermore, according to National Investment Promotion & facilitation Agency, India is the fourth largest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG). India’s consumption of petroleum products reached up to 213.13 MMT, and natural gas consumption reached up to 64.14 BCM in the year 2019-20, representing a growth of 0.4% and 5.5% respectively in comparison to the consumption levels of 2018.
Industrial salts are often used as raw materials in the chemical industry. They are also used in the oil and gas industry as an oil drilling rig in order to make the process safer and effective or as a coolant and lubricant for the drilling head. Hence, an increase in chemical production and oil & gas projects is expected to increase the demand for industrial salts, thus, leading to the growth of the Industrial Salts Market in the upcoming years.
Industrial Salts Market Drivers
An increase in demand from the pharmaceutical industry is most likely to increase demand for the product
Industrial Salts are used in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of capsules and preparation of saline solutions which includes preparation of intravenous formulas to contact solutions. According to the data on therapeutic drug use in the U.S. published by National Centre for Health Statistics, the number of drugs that were ordered and provided through physician office visits reached around 2.9 billion, and the number of drugs that were given or prescribed through hospital emergency department visits reached around 336 million in 2020. As the demand for drugs in the pharmaceutical sectors across the globe increases, the demand for the use of industrial salts required during the production of these medicines is also expected to rise significantly, which can help boost the market growth in the upcoming years.
An increase in demand from the oil and gas industry is most likely to increase demand for the product
Continuously increasing demand for oil and gas supplies from the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors is a key driver of market growth. For instance, Nigeria completed its project called Dangote Refinery and Polypropylene Plant worth US$ 11 billion in 2021. The facility is expected to begin its operation by mid of 2022. It is expected to process different grades of crude including shale oil, along with a production capacity of 104,000 b/d of diesel, 153,000 b/d of gasoline, 4,109 b/d of LPG, 73,000 b/d of jet fuel, and 12,300 b/d of fuel oil. Similarly, Russia announced the continuity of its project called Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline worth $10.8 billion since 2020. The pipeline is expected to increase the gas capacity of the Nord Stream route to 110 billion m3 per annum.
Furthermore, in 2019, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) stated that Canada is capable of producing 16,000 barrels of crude oil per day along with 5.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. It also states that Canada’s oil production is estimated to reach 106.3 million barrels per day by 2040.
Industrial salts are often used in an oil drilling rig in order to make the process safer and more effective. It is also used in mud as a drilling fluid which helps act as a coolant and lubricant for the drilling head. In this way, an increase in demand for oil and gas production activities in various countries across the world will also increase the demand for industrial salts required during these production activities, thus, leading to market growth in the upcoming years.
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Industrial Salts Market Challenges
Strict environmental regulations associated with the extraction of salts can cause an obstruction to the market growth
According to the Salt Association, the salt industry is regulated through a number of European Directives that are responsible for regulating operating practices, and environmental performance. Each manufacturing site is regulated through Individual Local Authority (LA) permits and Environment Agency (EA) licenses for environmental compliance. The LA permits define the monitoring, control, and reporting regimes that each company must follow for control of processes in order to validate compliance to environmental standards related to matters such as dust control, air quality, and noise levels. Likewise, evaporated salt is manufactured through the evaporation of the water from brine under a vacuum. This involves the use of heat energy, which can result in CO2 emissions. None of the processes should release any discharge over the permissible limit and each manufacturing site should comply with the environmental regulations, or it will be charged with a huge penalty. Hence, strict regulations associated with the extraction of salts may confine the market growth.
Industrial Salts Industry Outlook
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in this market. Industrial Salts top 10 companies include:
Compass Minerals America Inc.
China National Salt IndustryCo.
Tata Chemicals Ltd.Mitsui & Co. Ltd.
Rio Tinto GroupNobianDominion Salt Ltd.
Exportadora de Sal de C.V.
In September 2021, Dr. Paul Lohmann GmbH & Co. KGaA launched a new brand Lohtragon, a high-performance metal salt range for industrial applications. The Lohtragon portfolio includes around 60 metal salts that are ideal for industrial applications.In January 2021, Tata Chemicals Ltd acquired the industrial salt unit of the Archean Group which is estimated to cost around INR 450 crore (US$ 61 million). The Archean unit has a production capacity of 3 million metric tons annually. The acquisition is expected to boost the company’s business.
Natural Brine in Industrial Salts Market is expected to see the fastest growth, owing to its increasing demand for de-icing applications.
Chemical Processing in Industrial Salts Market is expected to see the fastest growth, owing to the increasing demand for industrial salts for the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and soda ash from the chemical processing industry.
The Asia Pacific dominated the Industrial Salts Market in 2021, owing to the increasing demand for industrial salts from the chemical and oil & gas industries. For instance, the Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) announced the continuity of its operations of five major ongoing projects worth INR 1.67 lakh crore (US$ 22.85 billion) since April 2020, which, in turn, has increased the demand for industrial salts from the oil and gas sector of the region.
Inorganic Salts Market
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