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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, 2023-2030

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



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The global kaolin market size was valued at USD 4.23 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow from USD 4.41 billion in 2023 to USD 6.05 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.6% during the forecast period.

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 Affected Market

The 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 falling demand and disrupted the supply chains. This increased the price for 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.


Surging Demand 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.


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 rather than notebooks, which is 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 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 2022 due to the 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, 2022 (USD Billion)

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Asia Pacific held the largest share of the market and was valued at USD 1.12 billion in 2022, 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 2022 due to the growing construction industry.

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 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 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.

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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.


  • Imerys S.A. (France)

  • Ashapura Group (India)

  • EICL Limited (India)

  • Sibelco (Belgium)

  • KaMin LLC (U.S.)

  • Thiele Kaolin Company (U.S.)

  • LASSELSBERGER Group (Hungary)

  • Quarzwerke GmbH (Germany)

  • Sedlecký kaolin a. s. (Czech Republic)

  • I-Minerals lnc. (Canada)

  • W. R. Grace & Co. (U.S.)

  • 20 Microns (India)


  • 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 the company’s sustainability goals.

  • May 2022: Thiele Kaolin Company announced a price increase of 9% for all product categories effective from July 1, 2022, owing to the change in the current global economic scenario that has increased the costs of manufacturing operations worldwide. The increase in cost will impact the labor, energy, and other inputs needed to produce quality products to meet customers' needs.

  • 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.

  • November 2021: KaMin acquired BASF SE 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.

  • 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 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.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 4.6% from 2023 to 2030


Value (USD Billion) and Volume (Million Ton)


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)

    • 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 4.23 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 6.05 billion by 2030.

In 2022, the market value stood at USD 4.23 billion.

Growing at a CAGR of 4.6%, the market will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2023-2030).

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 2022.

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

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