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Kaolin Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Application (Paper, Ceramic & Sanitary Ware, Fiberglass, Paints & Coatings, Rubber, Plastics, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: June 24, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102352



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The global kaolin market size was valued at USD 4.42 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 4.61 billion in 2024 to USD 6.67 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.7% during the forecast period. Asia Pacific dominated the kaolin market with a market share of 26.7% in 2023.

Kaolin, also known as china clay, is a type of soft white clay used in manufacturing porcelain, rubber, paper, and paints. The use of the product as a coating and filling agent in the growing paper industry is expected to drive the market. In coating paper, the product is used with adhesives to provide the surface with opacity, color, and good printability. This material also finds applications in the ceramic industry, where it is used for manufacturing porcelain and refractory. The absence of alkalis and iron in China clay is a beneficial factor for its high consumption in ceramic applications. Moreover, using this material as a filler in rubber manufacturing improves the mechanical strength and abrasion resistance of rubber. The aforementioned factors propel market growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic substantially influenced various industries globally, leading to a temporary halt of production and trade activities. It further caused a decline in the global economy due to the reduced demand and disrupted the supply chains. This increased the price of raw materials and finished products. However, the spread of the virus led to increased consumption of packaged goods, augmenting the demand for products. After the pandemic regulations were elevated, the product demand grew from the packaging industry for quality graphics on cereal boxes, cartons, and food & beverages packaging. This increased demand helped stabilize the market growth.

Kaolin Market Trends

Growing Product Demand from Various End-use Industries to Offer Growth Prospects

The increasing demand for this material from numerous end-use industries, such as paper, ceramics, paints & coatings, and rubber, positively influences market growth. This material is used in the paint & coatings industry as an indispensable filler, where it provides scrub resistance, high opacity, pigment suspension, and durability. Growing construction activities globally to meet the demands of the rising populations are leading to increased product demand. However, this material is preferred in ceramic and refractory applications due to its advantageous characteristics, such as fixed color, strength, brightness, and grit. These properties increase product demand in manufacturing ceramic-based products, such as plates, cups, and other household utensils. Moreover, the surging demand from end-use industries, such as plastics, cosmetics, and rubber, further supports product consumption.

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Kaolin Market Growth Factors

Surging Demand for Fillers from Paper Industry to Propel Market Growth

The increasing demand for fillers from the paper industry acts as a driving factor for the market. This material offers extended fiber, better paper opacity, printability, and brightness of paper. The growth of the paper industry in developing regions is anticipated to drive the market. This growth is due to the rising paper demand from packaging and printing applications. In addition, coated papers with this material decrease the particle size, thus increasing strength. Moreover, a rising ceramic industry is expected to increase the product demand from sanitary ware and ceramic tiles manufacturing. Therefore, mounting demand from the paper and ceramic industries will drive the kaolin market growth.

Rise in the Construction Industry is Propelling Product Demand

In the past few years, the population has increased at a significant growth rate. According to the United Nations’ Data Portal Population Division, the global population is estimated at 8 billion on November 15th, 2022, and it will reach 9.7 billion by 2050.  Therefore, the number of construction projects, such as buildings, apartments, villas, and skyscrapers, has gained momentum to meet the increasing demand for shelter. The installation of ceramics and sanitary wares, such as bathtubs, water closets, wash basins, and faucets, make the houses, buildings, and villas more comfortable and provide a premium look to the interior. This clay is used in material formulation for the production of ceramics and sanitary products owing to its excellent chemical properties. The product exits in a bright white color, has low concentrations of alkalis or iron, and offers high fusion temperatures.

Additionally, the product is chemically inert and enables an adsorbent property when it is used as an anti-microbial in end-use products. Such properties make the product more suitable for end-use applications. According to Orient Ceramics, a ceramic product manufacturing company, the global ceramic sanitary ware market is expected to reach USD 3.48 billion by the end of 2025. The rising use of ceramic sanitary ware in construction projects will drive market growth.


Availability of Substitutes May Hinder Market Growth

The development and introduction of substitutes are restraining the market growth. These substitutes include digitalization in every aspect of human life, leading to consumers shifting their workload from paper-based notebooks toward digital gadgets, such as mobile phones and laptops, which is acting as a restraining factor for market growth. Graphic papers and newspapers are increasingly phasing out due to digitization. North America and Europe have witnessed a substantial decline in demand for graphic paper in recent years, which resulted in reduced demand for kaolin, as it is used for smoothening of paper and improving ink receptivity.

Furthermore, titanium oxide is gaining attention from the end-use industries, such as ceramics, cement, plastics, paper, and coatings, to substitute kaolin. Titanium oxide has excellent light-scattering properties, making it an ideal choice for paper, coatings, plastics, and pigment applications.

Conversely, this clay is used as the coating material in different end-uses, such as ceramic utensils. The product is plasticized with the help of bentonite, and it takes much more time to dry completely compared with other materials, such as ball clay. Such poor properties reduce its consumption in end-use applications. Moreover, kaolin needs to bind with certain metals to prevent it from being de-installed from the end-use product. It may harm human health and cause health issues such as low iron levels and pulmonary diseases when it is consumed through utensils. Thus, the availability of multiple substitutes, regulations on mining activities, and health-related disadvantages may hinder the market growth in the forecast period.

Kaolin Market Segmentation Analysis

By Application Analysis

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Paper Segment Held Dominating Share Owing to Rising Packaging Demand

Based on application, the market is categorized into paper, ceramic & sanitary ware, fiberglass, paints & coatings, rubber, plastics, and others.

The paper segment accounted for the dominant kaolin market share in 2023 due to the high demand for paper from packaging and printing applications. The growing e-commerce activities globally are further propelling product demand. This material provides brightness, opacity, and strength to paper, making it more effective and easily printable. These benefits have led to its high usage, thus fueling market growth.

The ceramic & sanitary ware segment is anticipated to show substantial growth during the forecast period due to the expanding usage of this material in ceramic products such as tableware, ceramic tiles, and sanitary ware.

In paints & coatings, this material is used in infrastructural coating to enhance durability, providing scratch resistance and gloss. Moreover, the rising demand for plastics, rubber, fiberglass, and cosmetics is fueling the global market.


Asia Pacific Kaolin Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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Based on geography, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa.

Asia Pacific held the largest market share and was valued at USD 1.18 billion in 2023, which can be attributed to the surging product consumption in ceramics, refractories, cement, and paper applications. The financial advancement within countries, such as Japan, China, and India, is causing a significant demand spike for ceramics in household and institutional applications, which is driving the market. Backed by its robust cement and ceramic industries, China dominated the Asia Pacific region in 2023 due to the growing construction industry.

Europe is anticipated to exhibit significant market growth during the forecast period. The growth is attributed to the growing demand for this component in the rubber, plastic, paper, and glass industries. The spread of COVID-19 shifted consumer preferences toward packaged foods & beverages. This has led to a high demand for quality packaging materials for food products. Germany is one of the prime nations producing and consuming paper, ceramics, and sanitary wares, thus leading the Europe market growth.

North America is estimated to have a significant share of the global market, which can be associated with the growing technological advancements and rising disposable income in the region. The increasing demand for paper from the packaging and printing industries is boosting the regional market. This, along with increasing trade activities, such as regional exports, drives the market.  

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are projected to grow slowly during the forecast period. In Latin America, Brazil is a major producing country and is expected to show promising growth due to prompt urbanization and increasing disposable income. On the other hand, the Middle East & Africa is a hub for mining, and raw materials are accessible at lower prices for the end-product manufacturers in the region. This decreases the aggregate production price of the product. Furthermore, the rising economy within the region and improved lifestyles of consumers further surges the demand for finished consumer goods such as cosmetics, ceramic products, and packaged food products.

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List of Key Companies in Kaolin Market

Joint Ventures and Facility Extension are the Prime Strategic Initiatives Implemented by Leading Companies

Key players functioning in the market are Imerys S.A., BASF SE, Ashapura Group, EICL Limited, and Sibelco. Companies are implementing varied strategies, such as distribution augmentation, product innovation, acquisitions, collaborations, and mergers, to attain a competitive edge in the global market. For instance, Imerys S.A. is one of the significant companies that offer china clay in various applications such as adhesives, ceramics, building products, cosmetics, and paints & coatings. BASF SE is also a significant player that offers numerous grades for applications associated with wires & cables, plastics & rubber, construction, paints & coatings, agriculture, and thermal papers.



  • April 2023: Imerys and Sibelco signed a partnership agreement with Carlton Power to establish a Langage Green Hydrogen project in Devon. Carlton’s 10MW hydrogen hub is earmarked to enter operation in 2025. This project aims to provide green hydrogen for both Kaolin production companies to meet their sustainability goals.

  • July 2021: Thiele Kaolin entered into an acquisition agreement with Imerys Performance Minerals, through which Thiele will acquire certain Imerys Kaolin assets that provide for paper & paperboard applications.

  • January 2019: 20 Microns announced a strategic partnership with Dorfner GmbH Germany as a distributing partner for selling hydrous and calcined kaolin across the Europe market. This partnership will aim to bring a global footprint and a new market base to the company.

An Infographic Representation of Kaolin Market

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The research report covers a detailed market analysis and concentrates on crucial aspects such as the competitive landscape, product offerings, and applications. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.7% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million Ton)


By Application

  • Paper

  • Ceramic & Sanitary Ware

  • Fiberglass

  • Paints & Coatings

  • Rubber

  • Plastics

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Application, By Country)

    • France (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Russia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Application, By Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Application, By Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Application, By Country)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4.42 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 6.67 billion by 2032.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.7%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2024-2032).

The paper segment is the leading application in this market.

The increasing product demand from the paper industry is a key factor driving the market growth.

Imerys S.A., BASF SE, Ashapura Group, EICL Limited, and Sibelco are a few of the leading players in the global market.

Asia Pacific held the highest market share in 2023.

The growing product demand for ceramics and sanitary ware is expected to increase product adoption.

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