The global kaolin market size is set to be USD 6,557.9 million by 2030, witnessing 4.9% CAGR between 2024 and 2030. This can be attributed to the vast application area of kaolin in various industries, such as construction, paper, packaging, plastic, and rubber. The rising demand for ceramics is another factor that boosts the market growth.
The paper category dominates the market under segmentation by application. As a paper filler, kaolin provides length to the fiber and enhances printability, thus resulting in enhanced ink absorption, decreased tinting tendency, pigment holdout, and increased roughness. Other benefits include gloss, brightness, smoothness, and opacity, which enhance the appearance of the paper.
Due to the increase in the use of online shopping platforms, the demand for packaging has risen; therefore, the consumption of kaolin is surging as it provides great durability to packaging material. Moreover, its use in the paper industry is associated with the printing of books, brochures, and periodicals. Further, papers coated with this material have a smaller particle size, which results in an increase in strength.
Kaolin is a constituent of many pharmaceutical drugs due to its low toxicity and high purity. It is used as an anti-diarrheal as it absorbs water and toxins from the gastrointestinal tract. It is also used as an insecticide because of its antimicrobial properties, along with being a key ingredient of mouthwashes and toothpastes. Further, it is used as a filler, binder, detergent, and diluent in powders, capsules, and tablets, to enhance their physical properties. It also works as a hemostatic agent in surgical pads and gauzes and is utilized in clinical laboratory tests to assess activated clotting time (ACT).
Kaolin can be of hydrous, calcined, delaminated, surface-modified, and unprocessed grades. Among these, the grade segment is dominated by the hydrous category, as this variant has reduced impurity and increased brightness, along with the desired purity, residue concentration, particle size, and brightness.
Globally, APAC is expected to advance at the highest CAGR, of 5.2%, during the forecast period, due to the increasing level of industrialization and growing economies. The primary growth factor is the rising demand for cement, ceramics, refractories, and paper for various applications.
Europe is projected to be the second-largest country over the forecast period, due to the increasing demand for this chemical from the glass, paper, rubber, and plastic industries. Moreover, with COVID-19 leading to the closure of restaurants, consumers have shifted to packed food & beverages, which has driven the requirement for high-quality packaging material. Furthermore, in Europe, Germany dominates the market, and the U.K. will likely witness the fastest advance.
Some of the key competitors in this market are Imerys S.A., Ashapura Minechem Limited, EICL Limited, BASF SE, Thiele Kaolin Company, SCR-Sibelco N.V., LASSELSBERGER GmbH, Quarzwerke GmbH, Thiele Kaolin Company, I-Minerals lnc., and 20 Microns Limited.