Magnesium sulphate, also known as Epsom salt, has a number of applications across the food processing, agricultural and pharmaceutical sectors. Projections from a recently published market study by Future Market Insights (FMI) shows that the magnesium sulphate market will grow significantly in the short term, with compound annual growth rates of 5.8% and 5.3% in value terms and volume terms, respectively.
As the population around the world grows, the scope of pharmaceutical and food industries is expanding significantly. Magnesium sulphate is currently used to manufacture fertilizers and nutraceuticals. This is in addition to being used to prevent and treat seizures and low blood magnesium in women suffering from eclampsia.
The market is expected to enjoy a positive growth curve, with most of the demand being generated from emerging economies in countries such as China, Brazil and India. This is mainly due to the concentration of their populations and the subsequent development of the healthcare and agricultural industries.
It is expected that solid magnesium chloride crystals will dominate the market, controlling almost 80% of the product’s international market share. The use of agriculture-grade magnesium sulphate in manufacturing fertilizers is also expected to increase. Additionally, the demand for heptahydrate magnesium sulphate is expected to increase, due to its use in various applications.
One FMI analyst noted that vendors were committed to improving long-term contracts and partnerships with providers of raw materials in order to help produce goods at cheap prices, which would help both parties do business in the competitive environment. However, the current coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty in the market and decreased the likelihood that service and industrial sectors will be able to resume their operations on full-time basis. This may create issues in the magnesium sulphate market.
Industrial output for industries such as food processing, construction, paper and pulp, and cement has been heavily impacted by the pandemic on the production and supply front, which is expected to reduce demand for magnesium sulphate for some product applications. Additionally, halting of magnesium mining operations has also brought on shortages, especially in the Chinese and American markets. It is expected that in the long term, however, that the market will recover.
Players in the market are currently focused on establishing sales offices in emerging economies and heavily relying on distributors to help them promote and market their products. Prominent players such as K+S Aktiengesellschaft and PQ Corp remain concentrated on mature markets in Europe and the United States as they deepen their penetration in those markets while also ramping up production.
The projected growth in the dominance of magnesium chloride over the coming years favors entities such as Compass Minerals International Inc. (NYSE: CMP), which have specialized in the extraction of this increasingly vital mineral.
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