Published June 2023
Calcium chloride is a salt that can be obtained from natural brines, as a by-product from synthetic soda ash production, or by neutralization of hydrochloric acid with limestone. All three methods are in use, with the synthetic route being used for the largest volume. Consumption fluctuates significantly from one year to another, with two of the main consuming areas, deicing and dust control, being dependent on weather conditions and subject to strong variations. Consumption also fluctuates in the second-largest market, completion and workover fluids in oil recovery. Consumption in this segment fluctuates significantly on the back of oil prices and the subsequent exploration and drilling activities.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of calcium chloride in 2022:
Total world consumption of calcium chloride is expected to increase modestly during 2023–28. The large oil recovery and deicing segments are difficult to predict because of their sensitivity to oil prices and weather conditions. In Europe, consumption of CaCl2 for deicing is decreasing. The higher price of CaCl2 compared with normal salt is in most cases justified only at very low temperatures. Very-low-temperature periods have been rare in Europe in recent years, and are not expected to occur frequently in the forecast period. Consumption is more important in North America, where milder winters also have resulted in reduced calcium chloride use for this purpose.
The use of calcium chloride in dust control is expected to grow slowly, not only from its increasing use on unpaved roads and in mining operations, but also from increased use in urban areas, to bind fine dust and maintain levels below the maximum tolerated for fine dust under critical conditions.
On the supply side, not all capacities are equally competitive. The cost of synthetic production differs significantly with the cost of hydrochloric acid. Producers act opportunistically and increase production volumes upon increasing availability and the low price of hydrochloric acid. Producers also have to maintain excess capacities to be able to react to consumption peaks in the deicing segment. The product is used mostly in the form of aqueous solution.
The cost of transportation, compared with the product price, makes the solution business regional. However, the market also has a global aspect, with about 25% of the global volumes being traded across regions. The product is traded over larger distances predominantly in the form of hydrous CaCl2 flakes or prills, or anhydrous pellets, and then redissolved at the point of use. Because of the dependency on weather conditions and oil price, forecasts are meaningful only as an average over a longer period of time. Modest growth has been observed on average for the past few years, and is expected to continue through the forecast period.
For more detailed information, see the table of contents, shown below.
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook – Calcium Chloride is the comprehensive and trusted guide for anyone seeking information on this industry. This latest report details global and regional information, including
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook – Calcium Chloride has been compiled using primary interviews with key suppliers, organizations and leading representatives from the industry in combination with S&P Global’s unparalleled access to upstream and downstream market intelligence, expert insights into industry dynamics, trade and economics.
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