The Unites States is the leading salt producing nation, followed by China, India, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and France, respectively.
Although many factors contribute to the production of salt, the basic combination of mineral availability with industrial infrastructure explain the current rankings. These countries are all rich in either rock salt deposits, or salty sea water. Rock salt, however, is mined from underground, and is of course distinguished by its rock form.
Although salt is most well-known for its uses in food, only a small percentage of salt is used worldwide for consumption.
Most salt, including rock salt, is used for indirect manufacturing purposes, including the deicing of roads and other surfaces. Most salt is not suitable for eating, due to the high mineral content. Refined salt usually contains fewer mineral deposits than rock salt, and undergoes additional processes to ensure that it is safe for consumption or finer industrial needs.
Rock salt is distinguished from sea salt, in that it is mined from the ground. Chunks of salt are either blown apart with explosives, or dissolved in water, then evaporated. Traditional mining is the least expensive method of mining salt, and is less likely to cause the salt to leak into surrounding soil.
Rock Salt Prices and Availability
Because salt is used in virtually every manufacturing process on one level or another, the prices and availability of salt are occasionally used as a thermometer for the global economy. Salt is occasionally a hot topic among local economists when emergencies necessitate its immediate availability.
Although there is some argument as to the changes in rock salt prices as economic indicators, there’s no doubt that everyone needs salt in one form or another, from softening water to manufacturing luxury goods. Countries which export large amounts of salt require access to global trade lanes and enough infrastructure to ensure the shipment of hundreds of thousands of tons of rock salt annually.
Rock Salt as a Energy influencer
Because rock salt is also used in the process of natural gas drilling, it plays several roles in the availability of energy worldwide.
In conclusion, it’s no wonder that rock salt producing nations and rock salt distributors take the quality of their product seriously, and compete to offer the highest quality Rock salt at the most competitive prices. The end result is the satisfaction of global demand, and the continued production of a product which has influenced the human condition since before recorded history.