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03 Jul 2015 11:07:37

Global Kaolin and Metakaolin Industry: Increasing Usage of Kaolin in Medical Applications to Create Opportunity-rich Market for Manufacturers



Kaolin, or China clay in common parlance, is composed of hydrated aluminosilicate clay mineral known as kaolinite. It is utilized as an additive or a coating for rubbers, papers, paints, and various other industrial products. It is a soft powder kind of material, majorly employed in the production of paper and paints as fillers. Metakaolin is the dehydroxylated form of kaolinite and is a pozzolanic additive utilized in mortar and concrete applications.

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The development in the construction sector has augmented the demand for ceramic tiles and sanitary ware, which, in response propelled the demand for kaolin in the global industry. Further, the increase in the usage of concrete and cement for constructing pavements, foundations, and other structures is expected to stimulate growth of the metakaolin industry in near future. However, the rising demand for calcium carbonate as a potential alternative for kaolin is likely to limit the demand for the metakaolin. On the other hand, the increasing employment of kaolin in medical applications is expected to create extensive opportunities for manufacturers.

Global Kaolin Market to Grow at a 4% CAGR between 2013 and 2019

In 2012, the paper industry held the highest demand for kaolin, occupying over 40% share of the overall market. The increase in the demand for paper in developing economies such as India and China has contributed to the immense growth of this segment. However, the market for ceramics will report the fastest growth in the future owing to the increase in demand for white ware and sanitary ware products in the global industry. The global market for kaolin reached US$4.06 billion in 2012. It is expected that this industry will grow at a moderate CAGR of 4.0% between 2013 and 2019, reaching a value of US$5.34 billion by the end of 2019.

In the global metakaolin industry, concrete emerged as the largest application segment. Market experts predict that this segment will continue to grow at the fastest CAGR over the next couple of years. Growth of the segment will be attributed by the increase in the number of the construction projects across the developed as well as emergent economies. Moreover, metakaolin assists in diminishing the rate of carbon emissions by concrete, which is likely to propel the demand for metakaolin significantly in the coming years.

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The massive rise of construction activities across Asia Pacific has enabled the region to register the highest demand for kaolin and metakaolin in the year 2012. Rapid industrialization in emerging economies such as China and India and the increase in the usage of metakaolin as an alternative of Portland cement are likely to add significantly to the development of the global kaolin and metakaolin market in the region. This region is expected to maintain its leading position as the biggest market for both kaolin and metakaolin, registering growth at a CAGR of 4.0% and 4.3%, respectively in terms of volume produced over the next couple of years.

Global Kaolin and Metakaolin Market to Reach a Value of US$124 million by 2019

In 2012, the global kaolin and metakaolin industry had reached a value of US$91.8 million. It is anticipated, growing at a moderate CAGR of 4.4% from 2013 to 2019, the market will value at US$124.2 million at the end of the forecast period. In terms of volume produced, the global production of kaolin amounted to 34,398.9 kilo tons and the volume of metakaolin produced was 273.4 kilo tons in 2012, as per records.

The global kaolin and metakaolin market is tremendously capital intensive. As the industry is fragmented in nature, the market concentration is extremely low. A number of mergers and acquisitions by the market players have, in turn, consolidated the market share. BASF SE, Imerys SA, Daleco Resources Corporation, I-Minerals Inc., Kaolin AD, KaMin LLC, LB Minerals Ltd., Thiele Kaolin Company, SCR-Sibelco N.V, and Quarzwerke GmbH are the major enterprises operating in the global kaolin and metakaolin industry.

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