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Kaolin Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Application (Paper, Ceramic & Sanitary Ware, Fiberglass, Paints & Coatings, Rubber, Plastics, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2022-2029

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI102352



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The global kaolin market size was valued at USD 4.07 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 4.27 billion in 2022 to USD 5.77 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with kaolin experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 9.0% in 2020 as compared to 2019.

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 benefitting 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 together are propelling the china clay market growth.


Disruptions in Supply Chain amid COVID-19 Outbreak to Affect Market

The pandemic substantially influenced various industries across the globe, leading to a temporary halt of production and trade activities. The pandemic further caused a decline in the global economy due to the falling demand and disrupted the supply chains. This increased the charges of raw materials and finished products. However, the spread of the virus led to increased packaged goods consumption, augmenting the product demand.

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 increase in demand helped stabilize the market growth.


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Huge Demand for Kaolin 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 the 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 around the globe to meet the demands of the rising populations are leading to high 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.


Boosting Demand from Paper Industry to Augur Market Growth

The increasing demand for fillers from the paper industry acts as a driving factor for this 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, paper filled and coated with this material decreases 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.


Accessibility of Substitutes May Hamper Market Growth

This material has seen a significant surge in demand from various end-use industries. However, this has led to the development and introduction of alternatives in the market. These substitutes involve the digitalization of society, leading consumers to shift toward digital gadgets such as mobile phones and laptops to work on rather than notebooks, which acts as a hindering factor for market growth. Moreover, governmental guidelines over protecting the environment and restraining the cutting of forest trees further hinder the market.


By Application Analysis

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Paper Segment Held Dominating Share Owing to Rising Consumer Goods 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 2021 due to high demand for paper from packaging and printing applications. The growing e-commerce activities around the globe are further propelling the 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 the 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, 2021 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific held the largest share in the market and was predicted to hold a value of USD 1.08 billion in 2021, 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 2021 due to the growing construction industry. This country has the highest kaolin production and consumption of ceramics accounting for 50% and 70%, respectively.

Europe is anticipated to exhibit significant market growth during the forecast period. This growth can be credited to the growing demand for this component in the rubber, plastic, paper, and glass industries. The spread of COVID-19 has shifted consumer preferences toward packaged foods & beverages. This has led to 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 in 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 predicted 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 growing 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 surge the demand for finished consumer goods such as cosmetics, ceramic products, and packaged food products.


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

Key players functioning in the industry 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 example, Imerys S.A is one of the significant companies that offer china clay for 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.



  • November 2021: KaMin acquired BASF’s kaolin minerals business, which generated revenue of USD 177.0 million in 2020. The acquisition involves production sites in Daceyville, Toddville, Edgar, Gordon, and related mines, reserves, and mills in Toomsboro and Sandersville in Georgia, U.S.

  • 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.


An Infographic Representation of Kaolin Market

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The research report covers a detailed kaolin market analysis and concentrates on crucial aspects such as 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.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Kiloton)


By Application and Geography

By Application

  • Paper

  • Ceramic & Sanitary Ware

  • Fiberglass

  • Paints & Coatings

  • Rubber

  • Plastics

  • Others

By Geography

  • North America (By Application, By Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Application, By Country)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (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)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (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 4.07 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 5.77 billion by 2029.

In 2021, the market value stood at USD 4.07 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.5%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).

The paper segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

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 2021.

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

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