World demand for kaolin, also known as China clay, will generally be driven by the expansion of manufacturing activity in developing countries. Advances will be con- strained by a contraction in the paper markets of North America and Western Europe, as the increasing digitization of media erodes demand for kaolin-intensive coated paper products.
Hydraulic fracturing drives kaolin in ceramics production
Ceramics production, which represents the second largest market for kaolin, grew at an above-average rate between 2010 and 2015. Gains in this market were supported by a boom in demand for ceramic proppants used in hydraulic fracturing applications, particularly in the US. A fall in global oil prices beginning in 2015 cast petroleum industries into a state of uncertainty, and fast gains for ceramic proppants are not expected to be repeated through 2020.
Digitization continues to damage the paper industry
The paper market will continue to represent the largest outlet for kaolin. However, the importance of the paper market has declined significantly since 2005, when it represented 46 percent of world kaolin consumption. Global paper and paperboard production grew between 2005 and 2015, but output of coated paper products, which consume kaolin more intensively than do uncoated products, declined. As a result, demand for kaolin in the paper market fell over this period. The performance of kaolin in paper filling applications has been eroded by competition from alternative materials, particularly calcium carbonates. Slow growth in coated paper production will limit advances for kaolin through 2020.
India, Malaysia & China show most rapid growth
Through 2020, growth in kaolin demand in the Asia/Pacific region is forecast to outpace the global average, with the fastest gains occurring in India, Malaysia, and China. The region accounted for the largest share of kaolin demand in 2015, thanks to the presence of China and several other major kaolin consumers, including Japan, India, and South Korea. However, regional growth will be restrained by a contraction in Japan, where kaolin consumption in the paper market is forecast to fall.
World Kaolin analyzes the global kaolin market. It presents historical data (2005, 2010 and 2015) plus forecasts (2020 and 2025) for supply and demand, as well as demand by market (paper, ceramics, paint, refractories, rubber, other) in 6 regions and 21 major countries. In addition, the study considers key market environment factors, assesses the industry structure and evaluates company market share.
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