Bromine and crude salt are essential for several industries and are used to manufacture flame-retardants, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, water purification compounds, dyes, sanitizers, oil and natural gas drilling, and other products.
China is now the world's third largest bromine producer after Israel and the United States. 98% of bromine is produced in five countries: Israel, the United States, China, Jordan, and Japan. The production of bromine is currently over 120,000 metric tons/year in China.
China is currently the world’s largest consumer of bromine, but demand for bromine continues to outpace supply. Global bromine sales are approximately $2 billion with more than $400 million originating from China. Domestic production is currently only able to satisfy 75% of China’s domestic demand.
The largest application for bromine-based compounds is in the production of brominated flame-retardants, accounting for 46% of total global consumption in 2013. Clear brine fluids, used primarily in oil and natural gas production, are the second-largest end-use market, accounting for 16%. Water treatment accounted for 6%. Other markets include papermaking, pesticides, and antibiotics.
According to marketsandmarkets.com, the leading producers of bromine in the world are Albemarle Corporation (U.S.), Chemtura Corporation (U.S.), Tosoh Corporation (Japan), Gulf Resources Inc. (China), Tata Chemicals Limited (India), Israel Chemicals Limited (Israel), Jordan Bromine Company Limited (Jordan), Tetra Technologies Inc. (U.S.), and Hindustan Salts Limited (India).
To date, all of Gulf’s bromine has been produced in Shandong Province. However, Gulf has discovered major bromine concentrations in Sichuan Province.
While drilling for bromine, Gulf Resources also discovered major concentrations of natural gas. Gulf is currently exploring the potential for bromine and other brine resources as well as natural gas in Sichuan Province.