Peacock - background.doc by shensengvf


									Peacock - background

Peacock Salt are the UK’s largest importer of salt.
Established in 1874 we have 7000 customers throughout the
UK ranging from the NHS, Train Operating Companies, Trunk
Road Contractors and many District and County Councils.

We currently ship salt from Tunisia, Egypt, Spain,
Israel, Germany, Holland, Brazil, France, Sardinia, to a
variety of UK ports.

We have signed a contract in the last 2 weeks with Rio
Tinto – the world’s largest salt producer to bring ships
of up to 65,000 tonnes to the UK.

Peacock sent out Plan B (enc) to more than 600 winter
practitioners in September 09 highlighting our fear that
the UK was going to run out of road salt. This was based
simply on the amount of mining days available and the
demand carried forward from the previous year. The
response was pitiful, and created some bad press, (enc).

We believe that the same situation will arise again this
year, and in spite of constant warnings from us and other
winter organisations, we are seeing no firm plans to
import sufficient stock to cover the shortfall.

1.UKRLG Review and it’s recommendations
Yes, we believe that the report highlights most of the
key issues regarding the problems of salt supply and does
offer   some   solutions.  However   without  clear   and
consistent control over salt procurement and storage from
central government, the UK (en mass) will continue to
attempt to secure sources of salt that will arrive LATE,
be EXPENSIVE and may variable in QUALITY.
Peacock has recognised that this is not simply a UK
problem. Our traditional sources of supply have already
indicated that next year will be as difficult as this
year. We have scoured the world to secure sources of
supply that are reliable, with consistent quality salt.
We have made plans to secure up to 500,000 tonnes per
annum: an increase of more than 70% from our usual import


Peacock have improved our call and order handling systems
to allow us to deal with 700 orders per day we receive.
The failure of the UK suppliers to meet their obligations
puts huge pressures on the organisations such as
ourselves that are approached to try and make up the
shortfall. Lessons for us are to approach all our
customers   by   1st September   2010  to    ensure their
anticipated requirements are included in our overall
We have now put in place stocks on the Thames, Mersey,
Avon, Clyde, Tay. We will continue to bring in stock
throughout the summer as and when we receive firm
indications from councils and customers of their intent
to order.
The salt cell took a huge amount of pressure from
ourselves and the people involved in the development and
management of this highly emotional and difficult problem
deserve high praise.
We have seen salt stock held by our customers reduce
dramatically. This combined with today’s expectation of a
“next day” delivery, make their wishes unrealistic. We
are prepared for a shortfall of 250-500,000 tonnes, but
are doubtful that the central mechanism will be in place
to ensure that this salt will ever reach the clients who
need it in time.
As a country we are talking about a £10-15 million
problem and a change in salting practices. We will need
200,000 (£50per tonne approx) tonnes stored for 2-3 years
to allow the uk producers to get the stock: production
ratio synchronized allowing the country to start a season
with sufficient stock to see them through an average
winter, with excess requirement being supplied by the UK
mines and when required by importers. Given the amount of
time, effort and consultants fees spent on this and the
cost of not treating the country wide network, we feel
this is a tiny price for the country to pay.

This is not a new situation. In the 1980s Peacock
imported 1 million tonnes over a 2 year period to get us
out of a similar situation. Once the pump had been primed
again the UK mines were able to get the stock in the
right stage of the cycle to ensure continuous supply.

As a longer term solution we must ensure that our stock
is used in more effective ways. Too much salt is spread

on   “untreatable”  surfaces.   Best   practise must  be
established with relation to ploughing and the method of
distribution and type of de icer used.

As a short term measure salt is urgently required to plug
the gap. Should normal winter (circa 1.7 million tonnes)
consumption be resumed, then central intervention will
only be required for a short period of time. Salt has no
shelf life, has a steady demand and can store inside or
out. In order to prevent the feeding frenzy for salt,
that only served to drive freight rates up last year,
then a coordinated central approach, will give stability,
transparency and a degree of budgetary control over what
really is a small problem.

Angus J.G. Craig

Commercial Director

Tel       : 01292 292000

Fax : 01292 292001

Mobile 07771 636 167

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J C Peacock & Company limited, North Harbour, Ayr KA8 8AE

Tel: 01292 292000               Fax: 01292 292001



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