One of the many fascinating aspects of world history is the development and spread of salt. Its spread across the world can be traced back to Neolithic times, when people were first able to make use of salt for cooking and storage purposes. The use of salt became more refined in ancient civilizations like those of Egypt and Greece and then again in Rome. With the discovery of America by Europeans in the 16th century, salt was used not only for cooking but as a cure for many ailments.
Throughout history, various countries have produced different salts with different mineral content. But because of its wide spread use around the world, there is now a worldwide fine salt market. There are many countries that export a wide range of salts. Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kashmir, Tanzania, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela are some of the countries that produce fine salt. Each of these countries has its own unique characteristics in terms of salt production, geographical location and climate.
As mentioned, salt production is important to any country. This is due to the need for salt for the different industries that it supports. For example, Egypt relies on the salt market for its minerals, while Turkey manufactures a large amount of sodium chloride for the production of drugs and medical supplies. The salt market is also very important to agriculture, which is why India, Pakistan, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are major exporters of wheat and other grains that are used for food production.
Many countries depend on imported salts to meet their needs. China, for example, exports copious amounts of salt to other countries for use in food and medicine. This has been offset lately by the growth of more developed economies in the world, especially in Europe and Japan. This means that more countries are looking to produce their own salts so as to reduce imports and maintain more competitive prices.
Production, availability and pricing of salts worldwide fine salt vary greatly depending on the type of salt being produced. Naturally occurring salts that come from rocks are the cheapest. These types of salts can also be easily obtained by using methods such as melting them underground, boiling them or even through a process of hydration or distillation. On the other hand, man-made salts usually come from deposits that require high pressure to bring them to the surface. They are then treated with various chemical reactions in order to transform them into usable salt. This may involve the addition of certain minerals or the adding of substances such as sodium or potassium to help the process along.
The demand for salts in the world has been increasing over time as people have become aware of the wide variety of salts available. With this increase in demand there has been an increase in production as well. However, this also means that the cost of salts has gone up because of the rising demand. In addition, in some places, farmers have begun using chemicals to increase the production rates and to improve harvesting of crops.
As a result, worldwide fine salt production has declined as the price of salts has risen. In an effort to combat this, some countries have introduced a quota system. More importantly, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have announced that all member states will only be allowed to produce a set amount of natural salts for their countries. This has had a knock on effect for people who seek to purchase salts, many of which are affected by the situation. It has meant that the prices of natural salts have increased and so too, the number of natural salts that are being harvested.
Despite this, the salt industry is still thriving globally. With the increase in demand and the reduction in salt production, there is little doubt that demand will continue to increase. This has resulted in an increased demand for salt online as well, with prices remaining relatively stable for buyers everywhere.