World Kaolin

World Kaolin


February 1, 2012
235 Pages - SKU: FG6830341
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Countries covered: Global



World demand to rise 3.4% annually through 2015
The world market for kaolin is projected to grow 3.4 percent per year through 2015 to 28.4 million metric tons, which will represent a significant acceleration from the relative stagnation of the 2005 to 2010 period. Growth in kaolin demand will be fueled by a generally stronger economic climate worldwide, with especially rapid growth in the developing economies of the Asia/Pacific and Central and South America regions. Kaolin demand in developed economies, particularly in North America and Western Europe, is forecast to recover from declines seen between 2005 and 2010 and post moderate growth going forward. Demand for kaolin valued in dollars is expected to grow quickly, rising 4.4 percent per year to a worldwide total of nearly $4.6 billion in 2015.

China to see fastest growth
The largest gains will be seen in China, which will by itself account for 40 percent of the growth between 2010 and 2015 in worldwide kaolin demand. Currently the world’s second largest consumer of kaolin, China will experience large-scale manufacturing growth and easily overtake the US to become the world’s largest kaolin market by 2015. India will also see a sizable increase in kaolin demand, fueled by an economy showing significant development across the board. India’s growth in kaolin demand will represent an acceleration of the already rapid pace of the 2005 to 2010 period, with the fastest growth occurring in the country’s paper industry. The developed nations of the US and Japan and most of the countries in Western Europe will see very weak growth through 2015, although all will post recoveries in comparison to the 2005-2010 performance.

Paper market to lead gains
From 2010 to 2015, demand for kaolin in all its major industrial uses is expected to rise faster than in the 2005 to 2010 period. The most drastic improvement will be seen in the paper industry, which is poised to reverse the negative trend it posted over the previous decade. Kaolin’s market share in paper production, traditionally the largest industrial use, was hurt in recent years by increasing competition from alternative materials, most notably calcium carbonate. That competition is expected to moderate going forward, as the market structure settles into a new norm. By 2010, most of the economically viable substitution of other materials for kaolin had already taken place. Combined with expanding paper and paperboard production in developing regions, the stabilization of kaolin’s market share in the paper industry will allow the global market for kaolin in paper to rise 2.0 percent per year through 2015.

Brazil to surpass US as top kaolin exporter by 2015
The global trade market for kaolin is extremely active due to production being heavily concentrated in the US, China, and Brazil, which together accounted for over half of world kaolin shipments in 2010. The US was the world leader in both production and net exports in 2010. However, production of kaolin in the US has declined in recent years, while production in Brazil has grown especially quickly, as producers have moved to take advantage of the numerous high-quality kaolin deposits in the Amazon Basin region. By 2015, Brazil is projected to overtake the US to become the world’s largest exporter of kaolin. Imports are greatest in the Western Europe region, which hosts a number of advanced manufacturing economies, with only the United Kingdom being a major kaolin net exporter in the region.

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Additional Information

PRESS RELEASE

Global Demand for Kaolin to Exceed 28 Million Metric Tons in 2015

The world market for kaolin is projected to grow 3.7 percent per year through 2015 to 28.4 million metric tons, valued at nearly $4.0 billion. This represents a significant acceleration from the relative stagnation of the 2005 to 2010 period. Growth in kaolin demand will be fueled by a generally stronger economic climate worldwide, with especially rapid growth in developing economies. Kaolin demand in developed economies is forecast to recover from declines seen between 2005 and 2010 and post moderate growth going forward. These and other trends are presented in World Kaolin, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

The largest gains will be seen in China, which alone will account for 37 percent of the growth in worldwide kaolin demand between 2010 and 2015. Currently the world’s second largest consumer of kaolin, China will experience large-scale manufacturing growth and easily overtake the US to become the world’s largest kaolin market by 2015. India will also see a sizable increase in kaolin demand, fueled by an economy showing significant development across the board. India’s growth in kaolin demand will represent an acceleration of the already rapid pace of the 2005 to 2010 period, with the fastest growth occurring in the country’s paper industry. The developed nations of the US and Japan and most of the countries in Western Europe will see weak growth through 2015, although all will post recoveries in comparison to the 2005-2010 performance.

From 2010 to 2015, demand for kaolin in all its major industrial uses is expected to rise faster than in the 2005 to 2010 period. The paper market, which is the largest market for kaolin, will recover from declines posted over the previous decade. Kaolin’s market share in paper production materials was hurt in recent years by increasing competition from alternative materials, most notably calcium carbonate. That competition is expected to moderate going forward, as the market structure settles into a new norm. By 2010, most of the economically viable substitution of other materials for kaolin had already taken place. The second leading usage for kaolin is ceramics production, which includes sanitaryware, tableware and tile. Ceramics were the fastest growing market for kaolin from 2005 to 2010, and are forecast to continue growing quickly, at 5.3 percent per year through 2015.

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