The winter of 2011/2012 confirmed to be the warmest winter on document for the US and also Canada and the fallout of that weather event will ripple through the salt and also deicing market for at least a couple of years. The sole exemption was Alaska that saw document snowfalls and cold.

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There is a general id in the marketplace that high inventory level from the supply side will certainly drive price wars and lower prices, however this fallacy is not to be adopted for as well long. The truth is that those document inventory levels of salt transparent the nation have, for the most part, to be on the ground for 3 quarters of a year or an ext and storing materials is one expensive undertaking no matter just how it is managed. The costs of the material, its transportation, the loading and also unloading, and the storage are all stranded legacy right currently sitting under a tarp that is together tall together a 4 story structure throughout major population centers in the eye belt. Those costs increase each month once the rent inspect is due; for this reason while one can expect to watch salt service providers dumping inventory through price reductions, any discounting and fire sale provides will be very short lived. And, most major producers will stop engaging in price wars which will certainly only additional erode slim margins on material that should have actually been marketed last winter.

Supplies space plentiful and many salt mines are idle or operating at minimal rates right now awaiting the return the winter demand. The Sifto Goderich, ONT facility, the largest salt mine in the world, to be hit through an F4 tornado a year earlier that killed one worker and caused extensive damage. Incredibly, Sifto obtained the mine ago in procedure in just weeks and were able to meet all of their contract commitments for last season. In the spring of this year, lock furloughed 400 workers for virtually two months together a result of really low need coming turn off the winter of 2011/2012. Today, simply weeks after they went back to work, those workers have actually gone the end on to win on the one year anniversary that the tornado. We execute not intend this strike come have any type of short term influence on the roadway salt market, and also likely will have actually no influence on evaporated and other grades created at that facility. If this strike put on on for an extended period, it likely would have some potential affect on the marketplace. Compass Minerals witnessed their 2nd quarter profits autumn 32% as compared to Cargill whose revenues plunged 82%, for this reason the salt producers room anxious to see need return and flush this high inventories.

Coming turn off the record low sales of last year, don’t mean producers to be offering away the save to relocate inventory; the damages of carrying expenses is already done and the only way to stimulate sales at this allude is with successive chemical intensive weather systems: ice cream storms, light snow storms, and freeze/thaw patterns. Accordingly, intend to see salt prices one of two people up contempt or flat. Level or level pricing is a palliation in the network return because that salt producers and coupled with spiraling fuel and also diesel prices will put a far-reaching dent in revenues this year wherein contractual delivered pricing without fuel escalators are in place.

If the winter weather comes ago with a vengeance early, we might have some genuine problems. The drought in the Mid-West has actually resulted in extremely low levels on the Mississippi, and also that has interrupted and reduced barge traffic. The barges which would commonly be hauling corn and also grain belt assets down come ships in brand-new Orleans and also then reloading v salt to take up river space virtually non-existent. Low water on the flow coupled with the drought wiping out much of ours corn and also grain plants will reduce obtainable barge traffic. S vessel appointments are significantly off as well. So, while inventories are high, the dorn (or right depending upon your viewpoint) set of winter weather and also demand circumstances might wreak destruction in the Midwest together the river device will not have the capacity to easily reload this stockpiles; and, if very early freeze set in on the lakes combination with hefty snow, we will view a spiraling price event like we experienced a few years earlier where salt prices tripled overnight. So in this context, it is a house of cards that is entirely subject to the weather timing and veracity.

There will certainly be some discounting of old inventory native distributors and wholesalers ~ above a clues basis, yet for the most component without weather, commodities are no in demand and also there is practically no price low enough to move any appreciable inventory prior to the snow demands it. Adding to increase price push are crushed benefit margins in ~ the producer level.


Magnesium chloride, calcium chloride, and also acetates are in the same place as salt producers through inventories packed to the ceiling from last year. Currently last year, practically every weather pundit in the organization was predicting a repeat that the vault 2010/2011 heavy snow year in the main US and Northeast US, so premium melter inventories were stacked up at the greatest levels ever as the market was informing the supply side that they want to make sure that they were spanned with sufficient inventories to fulfill the predicted demand – which never came.

Similar to roadway salt, i beg your pardon is not rather as prone to caking as result of the addition of YPS and the regulatory driven practice of spanned piles, calcium chloride and magnesium chlorides room intensely hygroscopic which way they will attract water indigenous anyplace they can acquire it, consisting of the air. This means that the 50 lb. Bag the calcium chloride girlfriend bought last year could well be a 50 or 60 lb. File weight of lumped and also hard material. It’s every dependent top top the top quality of the packaging. We’ve checked out multiple failure of packaging in calcium chloride native Asia; the bags and also over-wraps are not UV resistant and they don’t usage the finest practices in packaging. Some space woven poly bags with a “dry cleaning” kind bag liner the is twisted into a gooseneck, climate tied before the bag is sewn shut. It is in wary of every calcium chloride because there room tens that thousands of tons of calcium follow me the east coast from Asia the are tough as a rock. The packaging for calcium chloride is a crucial component that have to be very closely examined for any type of signs that moisture is gaining into it, or that it has actually been stored outside and the integrity of the package has started to fail. Caveat emptor to all buyers that imported calcium chloride even if it is pellets, flake, or granular. Make certain you gain a top quality statement and also warranty statement around the truth of the product so if you happen to take in what girlfriend think is saleable product top top a discount and also find out later it’s no saleable, girlfriend can obtain some type of restitution. Recognize that there is a most left-over and also distressed calcium chloride in the marketplace this year i m sorry went out to retailers, climate didn’t sell, and also was returned, or was never shipped at all and also just satellite on the docks exposed come the weather.

The exemption to this caveat is residential US production such as OXY Chem and Tetra technologies who have actually been moving product at robust sales levels right into the exploding Alberta oil industry. Calcium chloride is offered in oil drilling and that market has actually been very solid and continues to pull product strongly. As a result, the calcium chloride commodities from OXY continue to be fresh and their distinctive packaging is draft for outside storage so when and if that is save outside, you can buy v confidence indigenous both a warranty and also integrity viewpoint.

Magnesium Chloride

With only a grasp of exceptions, almost all the pure magnesium chloride products offered in the marketplace space packaged incredibly well and also are save on computer indoors. This two determinants ensure that the product you buy today will it is in of the same high quality as simply off the manufacturing line. Constantly ask if other is stored within or outside before purchase to be certain, and always demand a guarantee statement from her supplier.


Acetates are, like whatever else, at their highest inventory levels. This is a fairly small quantity when compared to shop of calcium chloride and also magnesium chloride because the prices of acetates are 8 times the prices of the other commodities which often tends to limit inventories.


Weather is always the wildcard and also the sole need stimulator. Difficult to predict accurately and, prefer a cocktail party in a politics convention, there space too numerous “professional” different opinions to recognize which could be correct. Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi, that amassed such an outstanding track record leading up to last winter that he left Accuweather to type WeatherBell is repeating his forecast of doom and gloom from critical year because that the 2012/2013 winter along with many others. The kick in the trousers for every one of us in the organization that critical year was the for the very first time in memory, all of the weather pundits predicted a robust energetic winter mirroring the 2010/2011 document winter.

Remember that countless deicing commodities are imported from countries that lied on the other side that the planet from the US. Ships take it months come book, load, and also deliver, and containers take a minimum of four weeks to arrive on us shores native virtually any kind of location and in the case of Asia, that closer to 8-10 weeks. If the current inventories are easily depleted, reloads room not going to arrive in time; therefore it might be a an extremely expensive winter to manage and specifically with the current uptick in fuels. One other element is middle east instability; the middle east provides salt, magnesium chloride, and many various other minerals to the US, and any political unrest or war with Iran would have actually a detrimental result on shipping the these cheap commodities.

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Overall, this is a quick report when contrasted to mine previous manifestos, yet this report consists of many components to help people do an educated decision as you strategy the pre-season to buy time. The bottom line is if you watch the weather coming together as the weathermen room AGAIN predicting, meaning early, hard, and fast winter snows, be prepared to hedge your place quickly because by the time these potential it is provided logistic disturbances arrive, it will be too late to cover through relief materials which room not there and also are too much away come arrive with time to help. As always, us advocate strong inventories to be i was sure of on-going it is provided in winter. Just-in-time inventory management in deicers usually method “just-too-late”.