The Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company will lose a significant volume of cargo traffic as a result of Russia’s decision to include salt on the list of sanctioned products from 1 November, which will make it impossible to export salt from Ukraine to Russia.

"The closure of the Russian market to Ukrainian salt (including table salt) will primarily affect the businesses of the Artemsol company, which accounts for almost 100% of salt exports to the Russian Federation, and Ukrzaliznytsia, which is the sole carrier of salt in this direction. Exports to Russia totaled almost 900,000 tons in 2015, and they were transported exclusively by rail," said Pavlo Rudenko, an analyst with CFTS Consulting.

Another small Ukrainian company delivered 8,000 tons of salt to Russia last year.

As reported, the Artemsol state company (Donetsk region) was one of the largest players on the Russian market of table salt in 2014, when it had a market share of 21%. Russia’s Federal Consumer Protection Service decided in 2015 that the quality of its salt did not meet the requirements, thus essentially eliminating the company from the market.

In May this year, the Federal Consumer Protection Service allowed Artemsol to export 170,000 tons of salt to Russia annually and the Ukrainian company quickly began to regain its position on the Russian market, thus jeopardizing Russian businesses’ return on their investments in the relevant projects. The most recent resonant event in the Russian salt market is the news that Russian General Prosecutor Artem Chayka’s eldest son became the owner of the Tyretsky salt mine, the second largest salt producer in Russia, at the end of July 2016.

In addition to being used in the food industry and by retail customers, salt is also often used for anti-ice treatment of roads in winter.