Calcium chloride is a highly versatile chemical product used in a very diverse range of applications. These include: de-icing and anti-icing (calcium chloride acts as one of the most effective de-icers); oilfield and water treatment applications (e.g. oilfield fluids, pipeline inspection testing); water treatment; food processing (e.g. cheese, beverage, ice-cream production); agriculture (e.g. animal feed; calcium nutrition for crops; soil improvement and neutralization; fruit/vegetable shelf-life extension); concrete setting (for setting time reduction); dust suppression (on unpaved roads) and road base stabilization (for new construction); metallurgy (ferrous and non-ferrous metal production), tire industry; carbon capture and many other uses. Manufactured in liquid and solid forms, calcium chloride could be customised with various concentrations of active ingredients to meet specific application requirements.
Structure of the global demand for calcium chloride by application sector
Calcium chloride-producing companies can manufacture the chemical in three ways: (a) from natural source brines, (b) within the limestone-hydrochloric acid process, and (c) as a by-product of the Solvay process (a key process of soda ash production). In general, calcium chloride production is facilitated via vertical integration, when vertically-integrated entities (e.g. Tetra Technologies, OxyChem, Ward Chemical, Qingdao Soda Ash & Fine Chemicals Industrial Co., Tiger Calcium Services Inc., etc.) control each aspect of calcium chloride business, including resource extraction, manufacture, processing, packaging, trade, research, facility design, and product portfolio development. Each of these aspects is open to innovation and increased environmental protection. For example, a recent development for carbon capture technologies requires large volumes of calcium chloride.
The oil and gas industry remains one of the most important sectors for calcium chloride consumption. The previous year has been extremely challenging for the oil and gas industry as many companies in the sector (incl., oilfield service companies) reported losses amid falling oil and gas prices. However, despite the very tumultuous macroeconomic environment, driven by the global Covid-19 pandemic, many calcium chloride manufacturers were doing well, to a large degree, owning to calcium chloride market versatility. For instance, Tetra Technologies recorded a robust performance of its calcium chloride business. Tetra Technologies is the largest producer of calcium chloride in Europe (with calcium chloride facilities in Finland and Sweden) and the second-largest producer of calcium chloride in the US (after OxyChem). In the first quarter of 2021, the company observed strong demand for its calcium chloride especially in agriculture, food/beverage, and de-icing applications. The latter was facilitated by a prolonged spell of inclement weather conditions in the US and Europe (specifically in Texas and southern Europe). The same applied to operations by OxyChem, which is another major calcium chloride producer. In the mid of the pandemic outburst, the company, which was ascribed to belong to a critical infrastructure sector in the US, remained fully operational without any supply chain issues. This contributed strongly to the consistent performance OxyChem demonstrated throughout 2020.
More information on the global calcium chloride market can be found in the in-demand research report “Calcium Chloride (CaCl2): 2021 World Market Outlook and Forecast up to 2030”.