NOTEBOOK: Salt Update
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NOTEBOOK: Salt Update

Contributing editor and State of Salt columnist Rob English shares some of the trends he’s observing that may impact snow and ice management professionals.

August 3, 2022

I recently recorded an episode of the podcast with Rob English, Snow Magazine’s contributing editor and author of the State of Salt column. He provides a bit of a mid- to late-summer forecast on the deicing market and some of the trends he’s tracking. It’s an episode you don’t want to miss, so CLICK HERE to check out Episode 80 Summer Salt Report.

In the meantime, Rob left me with two interesting insights I wanted to pass along.

PRICE
There’s no two ways about it, the price of salt is up when compared to this time last year. Rob estimates the increase at around 15%, which doesn’t sound like much when you consider the price of fuel this summer. He also anticipates commercial contractors will begin seeing fuel surcharges on their invoices, as well. “I expect you’ll start seeing fuel surcharges as a separate line item on salt bills. But I expect commercial contractors are going to turn to their clients to do the same thing. … If you don’t [add] fuel charges this year, then you won’t be around next winter because you’re just going to get clobbered.”

CONTRACT DEMANDS
Expect suppliers to demand snow professionals adhere to the contracted amount of salt they commit to purchase for Winter 2022-23, Rob says. “If you say I’m going to take 1,000 tons and I’ll need 500 [tons] by 12/31 and 500 [tons] after 12/31, there will be a penalty for not achieving the goals you’ve established you’d take. And from the supply side, you can’t blame them. They’re not going to sit on a few million tons of salt and [have contractors] say they don’t need it. [Suppliers are] less likely to be understanding of your problems [this winter] and more demanding that you understand their problems.”