Roskill’s 13th report on kaolin has been published. If you’re involved with kaolin in any way, it will help you make the right decisions.
The landscape of the kaolin industry is changing. Consolidation and closures have marked the last decade, particularly in the USA, UK and Brazil. Six companies have emerged that each control over 1Mtpy of capacity representing over half of the global total.
Profiling over 150 producers, processers and projects, Roskill’s Global Industry and Market Outlook report offers a fresh perspective and comprehensive review of the whole industry. From mines and reserves through to developing end-use applications the report covers every aspect of the subject, examining trends and providing analysis to give both clarity and an understanding of the market.
Producers are still recovering from the effects of economic recession in their main markets in the late 2000s. Production in 2012 was estimated at 26Mt, almost back at exactly the same levels as twelve years ago. However, the regional distribution of production has changed significantly over this period, mostly because of a contraction in US output.
World consumption is also estimated at nearly 26Mt in 2012. The relative importance of a particular market varies considerably between the main regions. In Asia, the ceramics market is more important in terms of consumption than it is in Europe or North America. In Europe and North America, fillers and extenders, particularly for paper, are the main consumer.
Paper is the single largest market for kaolin but it is mature and is forecast to have low growth rates in the future. The main reason for this is strong competition from other minerals, especially ground (GCC) and more recently precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC). Ceramics are the second largest market and demand in this sector is expected to increase because of a combination of population and per capita usage growth, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. In North America, the market for kaolin based proppants is forecast to show significant growth in the future. European demand is predicted to remain constrained by economic problems.