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Global Kaolin Market and Metakaolin Market: Overview

Kaolin, also known as china clay, is composed of hydrated aluminosilicate clay mineral kaolinite. It possesses properties such as flat particle shape, excellent opacity, non-abrasive texture and chemical inertness among others. Kaolin has a wide range of industrial applications such as paper, ceramics, paints & adhesives and other specialty uses. In addition, kaolin is used in white ware and sanitary ware. Metakaolin is obtained by thermally treating kaolin and is used for several applications such as concrete and mortar among others.

Rise in construction activities across the globe is expected to drive the demand for ceramics which is used in tiles and sanitary ware. Kaolin is used in large quantities in ceramics to enhance the latter’s characteristics. Thus, rise in construction activities across various regions of the world is expected to subsequently fuel the demand for kaolin. In addition, the increasing demand for cement in concrete and mortar may fuel the demand for metakaolin. Use of metakaolin in cement helps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, which provides as an eco-friendly alternative. This factor is anticipated to boost the demand for kaolin and metakaolin in near future. However, substitution of kaolin with calcium carbonate in paper applications coupled with increasing kaolin prices may curb the global kaolin and metakaolin market within the next few years. Ongoing research and development in use of bio-ceramics in endodontics may open new avenues for kaolin market over the next few years.

Paper was the largest application segment for the kaolin market and accounted for over 40% of the market share in 2012, owing to their growing demand in emerging economies such as India and China. National governments in the countries of China, India, and other Asian countries are taking initiatives to facilitate literacy rate, which in turn is expected to fuel the demand for writing and printing papers. However, the demand for papers in North America and European countries is expected to decline due to the increasing preference of consumers towards internet and electronic media to access information. Ceramics is expected to exhibit fastest growth on account of its use in various applications processes. Ceramics are largely used in sanitary ware, wall and floor tiles and vitreous clay pipes on account of their varied properties such as high strength, longevity, chemical inertness and electrical resistance. These parameters are expected to boost the demand for kaolin in ceramics. Furthermore, the growing rubber industry on account of the increasing demand from the automobile sector is expected to fuel the demand for kaolin in near future. Other segments including fiberglass, paper and plastics are anticipated to lose their market share to ceramics and rubber segments over the next six years. 

Concrete was the largest application segment of the metakaolin market and accounted for over 50% of the market share in 2012. Additionally, concrete is expected to be the fastest growing application segment of the market on account of rising construction activities, particularly in developing economies of Asia Pacific and Latin America. Furthermore, substitution of a small part of cement by metakaolin results in notable reduction of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Presence of stringent regulations to curb the level of carbon in the atmosphere is expected to be a vital factor in augmenting the demand for metakaolin in cement.

Demand for kaolin and metakaolin was highest in Asia Pacific on account of rapid industrialization and urbanisation. Asia Pacific accounted for over 35% of both kaolin and metakaolin market in 2012. Growth of the ceramic market in Europe, which includes table ware, wall and floor tiles, is expected to in turn drive the demand for kaolin in Europe over the forecast period. North America being a mature market with respect to construction industry is expected to witness a steady growth within the forecast period.

Companies such as BASF, Imerys, Kaolin AD, Thiele Kaolin Company and Quarzwerke are the key players present in the global kaolin and metakaolin market. The kaolin and metakaolin market is highly capital intensive. In addition, as the market is fragmented in nature, there is low market concentration. Numerous mergers and acquisitions have resulted in the consolidation of the market share. 


Kaolin is rich in kaolinite and is a fine clay utilized in paper making, ceramics, etc. On the other hand, metakaolin is derived from kaolin and is a dehydroxylated form of kaolinite. The utilization of metakaolin in cement helps in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the surrounding area and thus it is an eco-friendly substitute.

This research study provides an extensive analysis of the market for kaolin and metakaolin. It describes the market’s growth in valuation along with market forecasts from 2012 to 2019. Both primary as well as secondary research has been done in order to gather the information collated in this report. 

The report also uses various analytical tools such as Porters’ five forces analysis to highlight the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers. In addition, the report segments the kaolin and metakaolin market on the basis of applications and geography and the segments have been evaluated and forecasted on the basis of revenue and volume.

Overview of the Kaolin and Metakaolin Market

In its natural state, kaolin is white in color and usually comprises varying amounts of different minerals such as quartz, muscovite, anatase, and feldspar. Apart from its application in the ceramic industry, kaolin is also utilized in filling rubber for improving the mechanical strength and abrasion resistance of rubber. It is also utilized as a flattening agent and extender in plants. Metakaolin was conventionally used for manufacturing porcelain and nowadays is utilized in mortar, shotcrete, and concrete applications 

On the basis of application, the kaolin market is segmented into ceramics, paper, paints and adhesives, rubber, fiberglass, cement, and others, including waste water treatment, organic farming, refractories, etc. Amongst these, the segment of paper led the market in 2012 and held a share of more than 40% in the market.

On the basis of application, the metakaolin market is segmented into mortar, concrete, and others including geopolymers, shortcrete, etc. Amongst these, concrete was the biggest application segment in 2012 in the metakaolin market and constituted a share of more than 50% of the market. 

The expansion in activities of construction across numerous regions in the world is predicted to accelerate the global demand for kaolin. The rise in demand for cement within mortar and concrete will stimulate the market for metakaolin. On the other hand, the increasing use of calcium carbonate over kaolin within paper applications, along with the rising cost of kaolin, may inhibit the global market for kaolin and metakaolin in the forthcoming years. 

On the basis of geography, the market is segmented into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Rest of the World (RoW). Amongst these, Asia Pacific led the market in 2012 and constituted a share of more than 35% in the market. On the other hand, North America will experience a steady growth curve in the forecast horizon

Key players in the Kaolin and Metakaolin Market

The major players dominant in the market for kaolin and metakalin include Imerys, BASF,Kaolin AD, Quarzwerke, and Thiele Kaolin Company, among others.

Major geographies analyzed under this research report are: 

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • The Middle East
  • Rest of the World(RoW)

This report gives you access to decisive data such as:

  • Market growth drivers 
  • Factors limiting market growth
  • Current market trends 
  • Market structure
  • Market projections for the coming years 

Key highlights of this report:

  • Overview of key market forces propelling and restraining market growth 
  • Up-to-date analyses of market trends and technological improvements
  • Pin-point analyses of market competition dynamics to offer you a competitive edge
  • An analysis of strategies of major competitors 
  • An array of graphics and SWOT analysis of major industry segments 
  • Detailed analyses of industry trends
  • A well-defined technological growth map with an impact-analysis 
  • Offers a clear understanding of the competitive landscape and key product segments

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Kaolin Market

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