Sodium chloride also known as salth is one of the largest used inorganic raw material consumed by the chemical industry in terms of volume. The major products of sodium chloride include caustic soda and chlorine. These products are further used in the manufacturing of various chemical products including organic and inorganic chemical products. As a direct application sodium chloride is used for ice and snow control, as a flavoring and preservative, as a reagent used for water softening and numerous other industrial processes.
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Chemical production accounted for the largest consumption of sodium chloride globally; with over approximately half of the entire sodium chloride production is consumed for chemical production. The other major consumption of sodium chloride includes its use as road salt for deicing followed by its use in food industry and its use in other industrial and medical applications. Numerous chemical plants consume sodium chloride in form of rock salt, brine, high purity grades of granulated sodium chloride or solar salt as raw material. The large brine producers are generally vertically integrated by chlor-alkali manufacturers that consume their sodium chloride captively. Sodium chloride used for deicing applications varies annually, as every year and is largely dependent on climatic conditions. Sodium chloride is abundantly across the globe and the trade volume is comparatively lower. Approximately one tenth of the entire sodium chloride produced across the globe is traded over large distances. The major countries that import sodium chloride include Japan, China and other Asian countries that consume sodium chloride for producing chemical products. The major exporters of sodium chloride are the countries with favorable climatic conditions for low-cost production of sodium chloride such as India, Australia and Mexico. Sodium chloride is also produced on large scale in Chile where low cost lake salt is produced.
In terms of demand Asia Pacific was the largest market for sodium chloride followed by North America, Europe and Rest of the World. The demand for sodium chloride is expected to witness strong growth in the countries of Asia Pacific. Growing chemical industries in this region is anticipated to further drive the market in the next few years. Also, growing population in countries such as China and India is expected to drive the demand for sodium chloride in food applications. In Asia Pacific, China was the largest market for sodium chloride followed by India, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. The demand for sodium chloride is also particularly high in North American region for deicing applications. In North America, the major consumers of sodium chloride were U.S, Canada and Mexico. These countries experience severe cold climate and consume ice for snow and ice control. The consumption of sodium chloride is also expected to be high in European market. The major European markets for sodium chloride include Germany, France, Italy, U.K etc. Europe also experiences similar climatic condition as North America and sodium chloride is used for deicing applications in this region. The other major markets for sodium chloride include Brazil, Argentina, Chile etc. Growing chemical industry and population in Latin American countries is expected to fuel the growth in demand for sodium chloride in this region.
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Some of the major companies operating in the global sodium sulfate market are Akzo Nobel, Compass Minerals International, Cargill, Inc., Dampier Salt, North American Salt Company, Tata Chemicals Limited and Morton Salt among others.
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