Halide minerals are those minerals which include a dominant halide anion such as fluorine (F), chlorine (Cl), bromine (Br) and Iodine (I). These minerals are complex in nature and have polyatomic anions. Most of the halide minerals occur in deposits of marine evaporite. Some of the commonly used halide minerals include halite (NaCl), sylvite (KCl) and fluorite (CF2). Halite is an important source of sodium chloride, in parallel with NaCl extracted from brine wells or sea water. Sylvite is potassium chloride in its natural mineral form, while fluorite is a vital source of hydrogen fluoride, obtained as a byproduct of the manufacturing of fertilizers. These minerals are used for a wide range of applications such as fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, food ingredients, water softening and other industrial applications.
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The global market for halide minerals has been witnessing a significant growth on account of increasing demand from its end-user industries. Rapid growth of the fertilizer industry is one of the primary growth factors for the market of halide minerals such as potassium chloride in fertilizers. The worldwide outlook for the agrochemical industry has been showing an optimistic growth primarily due to the progressive demand for phosphate and potassium fertilizer in emerging regions such as Asia Pacific. Potassium chloride or muriate of potash is one of the most widely consumed fertilizer which comes in a variety of colors from red or pink to white depending upon the mining and recovery process used. Soluble potash, also known as white potash is majorly used for liquid starter fertilizers. When combined with halite, potassium chloride naturally occurs as sylvinites. Potassium is one of the three major nutrients necessary for plant growth. It serves as a regulator for different processes within the plant. KCl is majorly consumed in the agriculture industry as potash fertilizer. Other applications of potassium chloride include chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and food processing. With the rising inclination towards biofertilizers in the agrochemical industry, KCl is being increasingly implemented for improving the growth of the plant. According to The International Fertilizer Industry Association, more than 30 potash expansion projects have been planned by manufacturers over the next few years. Other minerals such halite are one of the largest inorganic raw materials, by volume which are used by the chemical industry. The major chemical products of salt caustic soda and chlorine are used for manufacturing various chemical products, both organic and inorganic. Halite is also used directly for ice and snow control, as a mineral in animal diets, as a food preservative as well as a flavoring agent.
Growing demand from the fertilizer industry is anticipated to be one of the major factors driving the demand for halide minerals such as halite and sylvite over the next few years. In addition, increasing demand for organic food has also contributed towards the rising consumption of potash fertilizers, which in turn are expected to boost the demand for KCl over the forecast period. However, price volatility in certain halide minerals such as potassium chloride are expected to make a severe impact on the growth of the market over the forecast period. Increasing use of halide minerals in the biofertilizers industry is expected to provide new opportunities for the growth of the market.
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Agrium Inc., Arab Potash Company, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (ICL), Morton Salt, and Sinochem Lantian Co., Ltd are some of the key manufacturers of halide minerals dominating the market.