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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, 2020-2027

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



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The global kaolin market size was USD 4,168.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5,833.5 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period.

Kaolin, also known as china clay, is a type of soft white clay that is used as a necessary y ingredient in the manufacturing of porcelain, rubber, paper, and paints. The rising demand for this product can be associated with the growth in the paper industry, where it is used as a coating and filling agent. In coating paper, kaolin 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 alkalies and iron in china clay acts as a benefiting factor for its high consumption in ceramic applications. Moreover, this material is used as filler in rubber manufacturing to improve the mechanical strength and abrasion resistance of rubber. Some other applications of china clay include use in organic plastic, ink ingredients, and cosmetics. The aforementioned factors together are propelling the china clay market growth.

Disruptions in Supply Chains amid the COVID-19 Outbreak to Affect the Market

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected several industries all over the globe, resulting in the temporary halting of manufacturing and trade activities. The pandemic has further led to a decline in the global economy owing to the falling demand, causing disruptions in the supply chains. This has further increased the pricing of raw materials and finished products. However, the spread of the virus has also led to increased consumption of packaged goods, leading to an increase in the demand for this product. This material is used for quality graphics in consumer products, such as cereal boxes and cartons, as well as in the packaging of food and beverages. According to Georgia Ports, the trade activities for the import & export of china clay increased by 3% in the United States compared to the previous year. This increase in demand is expected to lead towards the stabilization of the china clay market.


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High Demand for Kaolin from Various End-Use Industries to Provide Growth Opportunities

The growing demand for this material from several end-use industries, such as paper, ceramics, paints & coatings, and rubber, is positively influencing market growth. This material is used in the paint & coatings industry as 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 is in turn leading to high demand for this product. Moreover, this material is used in ceramic and refractory applications due to its beneficial properties, such as fixed color, strength, brightness, and grit. These properties make china clay a highly demanded material for manufacturing ceramic-based products, such as plates, cups, and other household utensils. Moreover, the increasing demand for applications in end-use industries, such as plastics, cosmetics, and rubber, is further supporting the product’s consumption.


Increasing Demand for China Clay from the Paper Industry to Aid Market Growth

The increasing demand for china clay in the paper industry, where it is majorly utilized as filler, acts as a driving factor for the kaolin industry. The use of this material offers extent 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 different end-use industries, such as packaging and printing. In addition, paper filled and coated with this material decreases particle size, thus increasing strength. Moreover, a rising ceramic industry is expected to increase the demand for china clay, where it is used in the manufacturing of sanitary ware and ceramic tiles. Thus, the rising demand from the paper and ceramic industries is a major driving factor for the kaolin market growth.


Availability of Substitutes May Hinder Market Growth

This material has seen a major demand growth from various end-use industries. However, this has led to the development and introduction of substitutes in the market. These substitutes include the digitalization of society, leading to consumers shifting their workload towards digital gadgets, such as mobile phones and laptops, from paper-based notebooks, which is acting as a restraining factor for market growth. Moreover, governmental regulations over the protection of the environment and limiting the cutting of forests are further hindering the market and restraining its growth in the process. Moreover, the temporary shutdown of production units due to the COVID-19 pandemic is also hampering the market, as it is widening the demand and supply gap.


By Application Analysis

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Paper Segment to Hold the Major Share in the Market 

On the basis of application, the market is segmented into paper, ceramic & sanitary ware, fiberglass, paints & coatings, rubber, plastics, and others. The paper segment dominated the market due to the high demand for paper from various applications in packaging and printing. The growing e-commerce activities around the globe are further fueling the demand for this product. This material provides brightness, opacity, and strength to paper, making it more effective to use and easily printable. These benefits of china clay have led to its high usage, thus propelling the market growth.

The ceramic & sanitary ware segment is expected to grow and to show substantial growth during the forecast period due to the expanding utilization of this material in ceramics for applications in tableware, ceramic tiles, and sanitary ware.

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


Asia Pacific Kaolin Market Size, 2016-2027 (USD Million)

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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 incomes in the region. The growing demand for paper from the packaging and printing industries are boosting the regional market. This, along with rising trade activities in the region, is driving the market.

Asia Pacific dominated the kaolin market share in terms of volume and is estimated to have a value of USD 1,086.9 million in 2019, which can be attributed to the increasing demand for china clay for ceramics, refractories, cement, and paper applications. The economic development within countries, such as China and India, is causing a significant demand spike for ceramics in household and institutional applications, which in turn is driving the market. Backed by its robust cement and ceramic industries, China is expected to dominate the Asia Pacific region in 2019 due to the exponential growth of the construction industry. The country has the highest china clay production and consumption of ceramics, accounting for a largest share of 50% and 70%, respectively. They are used for household applications due to the rapid increase in the middle-class population, along with growing disposable incomes.

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Europe is expected to show substantial market growth during the forecast period. This growth can be attributed to the growing demand for this material for applications in the rubber, plastic, paper, and glass end-use industries. The spread of COVID-19 has caused the shifting of consumer preferences towards packaged foods & beverages. This has led to high demand for quality packaging materials for food products. Germany is one of the major countries in the production and consumption of china clay in the paper and ceramics & sanitary ware applications, thus leading the Europe market growth.

Latin America and the Middle East & Africa are expected to have gradual growth during the forecast period. In Latin America, Brazil is a major country for the production of china clay and is expected to show promising growth due to rapid urbanization, along with increasing discretionary incomes. On the other hand, the Middle East & Africa is a major hub for mining and raw materials are available easily and at cheaper prices for the end-product manufacturers in the region. This reduces the total production cost of the product. Moreover, growing economies within the region and improved lifestyles of consumers are further surging the high demand for finished consumer goods, such as cosmetics, ceramic products, and packaged food products.


Joint Ventures and Capacity Expansion are the Key Strategic Initiatives Implemented by Leading Companies

Key players operating in the industry are Imerys S.A., BASF SE, Ashapura Group, EICL Limited, and Sibelco. Companies are adopting varied strategies, such as distribution enhancement, product innovations, acquisitions, collaborations, and mergers to gain a competitive edge in the global market. For example, Imerys S.A is one of the key players that provide china clay for a wide range of applications, such as adhesives, ceramics, building products, cosmetics, and paints & coatings. BASF SE is also a major player that offers various grades of china clay for use in applications associated with wires & cables, plastics & rubber, construction, paints & coatings, agriculture, and thermal papers.


  • Imerys S.A. (Paris, France)

  • BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany)

  • Ashapura Group (Maharashtra, India)

  • EICL Limited (Delhi, India)

  • Sibelco (Antwerp, Belgium)

  • KaMin LLC (Georgia, U.S.)

  • Thiele Kaolin Company (Georgia, U.S.)

  • LASSELSBERGER Group (Budapest, Hungary)

  • Quarzwerke GmbH (Frechen, Germany)

  • Sedlecký kaolin a. s. (Božičany, Czech Republic)

  • I-Minerals lnc. (Vancouver, Canada)

  • W. R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, U.S.)

  • 20 Microns (Gujarat, India)

  • Other Key Players


  • February 2018: BASF announced plans to invest around USD 200 million over the next 10 years for furthering its growth potential by providing service, sustainable supply, and innovative solutions to its customers. This investment strategy includes infrastructure and process improvement projects at the Middle Georgia plant in the U.S. that will further enhance asset reliability, while also increasing its operational sustainability and efficiency.


An Infographic Representation of Kaolin Market

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The kaolin market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects, such as leading companies, sources, applications, and products. Also, the report offers insights into market trends and competitive landscape 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 over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Volume (KT); Value (USD Million)


   By Application, and By Geography

By Application

  • Paper

  • Ceramic & Sanitary Ware

  • Fiberglass

  • Paints & Coatings

  • Rubber

  • Plastics

  • Others

By Geography


  • North America

  • By Application

  • By Country

    • The U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe

  • By Application

  • By Country

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • The UK (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (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)

  • The Middle East & Africa

  • By Application

  • By Country

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 4,168.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 5,833.5 million by 2027.

In 2019, the market value stood at USD 4,168.8 million.

Growing at a CAGR of 5.1%, the market will exhibit modest growth in the forecast period (2020-2027).

The paper segment is expected to be the leading segment in this market during the forecast period.

The increasing demand for paper, ceramics & sanitary ware, and other applications is a key factor driving market growth.

Imerys S.A., BASF SE, Ashapura Group, EICL Limited, and Sibelco are some of the major players in the market.

Asia Pacific held the highest share in the market.

The continuous growth in the paper and ceramic industries along with technological innovations shall drive product demand.s

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