About the Himalayan Pink Salt of Pakistan
Pakistan is blessed with full of nature wonders. In one country it has much more natural resources than any other country of this region.
On Arabian sea 1,046-kilometres sea-shore, four seasons in a year, two largest gold deposit mines in Balochistan province Reko Diq and Seyahein-Diq(Saindik), sixteenth largest coal reserves in the world, the Thar coal mine is found in Sind province.
In gemstone industry, Pakistani gemstones include a variety of minerals such as peridot, aquamarine, topaz, ruby and emerald making the country significant in the mineral world. Out of 171 countries Pakistan is 35th for its fresh water reserves.
In agriculture sector Pakistan is the world’s 11th largest producer of rice. Its exports make up 8% of world’s total rice trade, Pakistan also produce more wheat than whole African continent.
Beside all these natural resources Pakistan has another blessing of God, the world’s second largest salt mine, known as Khewra Salt mine which produces 98% pure salt (NaCl). The salt is famous in the world by itsbrand nameTheHimalayan Pink Salt.
Khewra salt mine produces 389,134 tons of salt in 2018 and its total salt reserves were estimated around 82 million tons to 600 million tonnes. In raw form it is 98% pure whle in 2% it contains little amounts minerals of Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulphates and moisture. As trace elements it has Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese and Chromium.
According to previous studies, in 2003 mine has produced 385,000 tons of salt per annum, which amounts to almost half of Pakistan’s total production of rock salt. At that rate of output, the Mine would be expected to last for another 350 years!
Pakistan also export this salt to other countries.
The major importers of this salt are India and China but Pakistani salt is not sold in international market with its own branding while India is taking full advantage by using its own brands. We export our salt as Halite (rock salt) while other countries are taking advantage and sell this salt with their own brand name.
According to Commonwealth Legal Information Institute (CommonLII), there is a trade agreement signed between India and Pakistan dated June 24,1949 for their exports. Pakistan will export raw cotton, animal Hides & Skins, raw jute, rape & mustard seed and Rock salt.
By this agreement, Pakistan is bound to export 74000 metric tons of rock salt to India. In 2016 India has imported 625 metric tons of pink salt from Pakistan at price of 2.98 rupees per Kg and exported 15.09562metric tons salt to Korea, USA, UAE, Canada, Somalia and Spain at a price of average 125PKR/kg with its own packaging and brand name.
Interestingly, Pakistan has no agreement on any product with Israel but Israeli packed Pakistani salt is also available in International markets.
France is also selling Pakistani salt in its own branding and packing. A few grams of Pakistani pink salt international market costs from £3 to £8 that is equal to 572 to 1525 Pakistani rupees.
Laboratory grade Sodium Chloride price is much higher than common kitchen grade table salt. An average price of one Kg pack of laboratory grade NaCl is 7000 PKR!
There are many other ornamental products of Pakistani pink rock salt available in market like salt lamps, salt bricks, tiles etc.
But unfortunately there is no facility available for processing, packaging and marketing of these products. Recently a Pakistani food brand has started marketing this salt to national and international markets but at a limited level. We need more local investors in this regard.
Pakistan can earn much more with this salt. Global salt consumption forecastis to grow 1.9 percent annually through 2020 to 335 million metric tons, valued at $14.1 billion.
Steady gains in the Asia/Pacific and Africa/Mideast regions, as well as in North America will also support market increases. Pakistan should reviewits export policies to fulfil world salt requirement and have a great opportunity to establish its own market for its very own product.