The global kaolin market size is estimated at USD 3.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 4.1 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2020 to 2025. The growth of the market is primarily driven by the rising demand for kaolin from end-use industries such as paper, ceramics & sanitarywares, and paints & coatings. Rising demand for paper packaging due to e-commerce activities has fueled the need for paper.
Kaolin is used extensively in the ceramics & sanitaryware industry, owing to its high fusion temperature and white burning characteristics that make it suitable to manufacture ceramic whiteware products, porcelain, insulators, and refractories. The excellent dielectric properties and chemical inertness of kaolin make it well suited for porcelain electrical insulators.
The Asia Pacific region is an emerging and lucrative market for kaolin, owing to the demographic changes, increasing industrial development, and improving economic conditions. This region constitutes approximately 60% of the world’s population, resulting in the wide-scale adoption of kaolin in paper, rubber, ceramics & sanitarywares, fiberglass, paints & coatings end-use industries.
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Major companies such as Imerys S.A. (France), BASF SE (Germany), Ashapura Group (India), EICL Limited (India), SCR-Sibelco N.V. (Belgium), KaMin LLC (US), Thiele Kaolin Company (US), LASSELSBERGER Group (Hungary), Quarzwerke GmbH (Germany), Sedlecký kaolin a. s. (Czech Republic), I-Minerals lnc. (Canada), 20 Microns Limited (India), Minotaur Exploration Limited (Australia), W. R. Grace & Co. (US), Shree Ram Group (India), KERAMOST, a.s. (Czech Republic) Uma Group of Kaolin (India), Jiangxi Sincere Mineral Industry Co., Ltd. (China), and Active Minerals International, LLC (US)are key players in the global kaolin market. These players have been focusing on developmental strategies, such as Mergers & acquisitions, agreements, partnerships, expansions, investments, and divestments, which have helped them expand their businesses in untapped and potential markets.
Imerys S.A. is a leading supplier for kaolin in end-use industries such as paper, ceramics & sanitarywares, paints & coatings, rubber, and plastics. The company has worldwide business operations, including major countries such as the US, China, and the UK in the kaolin market. As a part of its key growth strategy, the company focuses on joint ventures and acquisitions to gain a competitive edge over its peers in the kaolin market. The company also focuses on expanding its customer base and strengthening its foothold in the emerging markets. In February 2019, Kaopolite Inc, a subsidiary of Imerys S.A. and the world’s leading supplier of kaolins to the auto care, hard surface cleaning, and personal care industries, formed a distribution partnership in Canada with Debro Inc. (Canada). This partnership helped the company expand and strengthen its market position in Canada.
BASF SE is among the key players in the kaolin market. In 1908, BASF began its kaolin operations in McIntyre, Georgia. It is one of the largest global leaders in calcined kaolin, which is used in paints and coatings, plastics, and rubber, as well as thermal paper and catalytic substrates. These segments are integral to growing industries such as automotive and construction. Presently, the company has four operating plants in the US, which are engaged in the mining and processing of kaolin. The company’s products are used in industries such as paper, plastics, rubber, construction, paints & coatings, and agriculture. The company has an extensive distribution and supply chain network across various regions to cater to the demand for kaolin products from end-use industries. In February 2018, BASF SE invested approximately USD 200 million on its kaolin business for its infrastructure and process improvement in Middle Georgia, US. This has helped the company to meet the demand for kaolin rising from various end-use industries.
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