Increasing usage of ceramics and rising construction activities in developing countries, along with the growing demand for eco-friendly kaolin products in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to drive the market growth during the forecast period 2020-2025. Apac Kaolin Market Size Projected to Grow At A CAGR of 5.0% During 2020-2025
Rise in construction activities in developing economies, such as China and India owing to the rapid urbanization and industrialization along with greater migration of rural population to urban centers is projected to drive the demand for new housing units. An increase in population and the need for products like paper, rubber, plastic, ceramics, and paints are set to fuel the growth of the kaolin market. Furthermore, the eco-friendly nature and adequate availability of kaolin in the APAC region would increase overall growth in the APAC kaolin industry over the forecast period.
The production and demand in top countries of the APAC region for kaolin is expected to boom over the next five years. In terms of revenue in 2019, hydrous kaolin held the largest share with 46% in the APAC kaolin market. Kaolin is termed as hydrous when the Kaolin has water bound molecule. Hydrous Kaolin is utilized for the preparation of surface-modified kaolin (SMK). These surface modified kaolin (SMK) are utilized as functional fillers that are mainly for rubbers and plastic applications to impart specific electrical and mechanical properties. These surface modified kaolin (SMK) thus can be utilized to substitute the more expensive fillers such as carbon black in the tire industry. Also, the hydrous type of Kaolin is used by different manufacturers in the industry such as paint, paper, surface modified clays, glass fiber, and rubber. The water-washed process is widely used in the production of hydrous kaolin as the process helps to retain water in the clay for about 12%-14%. Thus, owing to such properties of hydrous the demand for the kaolin market in the APAC region is anticipated to rise in the forecast period.
According to Industry ARC expert insight, the construction segment of the APAC kaolin market generated revenue of $679.8 million in 2019 and is projected to reach revenue of $885.1 million by 2025 by growing at a CAGR of 5.8% during 2020-2025. Kaolin is used extensively in the construction industry, where its high fusion temperature and white burning characteristics make it particularly suitable for the manufacture of whiteware, porcelain, and refractories. Kaolin impregnated with solutions of transition metal salts is bleached with low-melting clays to attain a broad color scale for the ceramic bricks. Also, the Metakaolin form of kaolin suits well for the construction segment as it is a highly reactive product that exhibits pozzolanic properties which result in increased strength. Thus, an increase in the use of kaolin as an artiﬁcial pozzolanic additive for concrete to produce blended cement owing to the high pozzolanic reactivity of metakaolin is enhancing the growth of the market.
China dominated the APAC kaolin market in the APAC region with a share of 36% in terms of revenue in 2019 and is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period (2020-2025). The Asia Pacific is growing in the global Kaolin market owing to the demand for ceramics in the construction industry, as kaolin is the major raw material used for manufacturing ceramic tiles. Besides, increasing construction activities in developing economies, such as China owing to the rapid urbanization and industrialization the demand for the kaolin market is also estimated to increase. According to Trade statistics for international business development data, China is the sixth-largest exporter of Kaolin and its related products with a total value of $117.42 million. Apart from the significant demand for kaolin clay by the ceramics industry in China, there is a growing need for kaolin clay not only in the construction sector but also in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and cosmetics industries. According to Chinese Powder, a Chinese website specialized in the metal powder industry, the two segments with the most significant need for kaolin clay in China are the papermaking (45%) and the ceramics (16%) industries.
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APAC Kaolin Market Growth Driver
- Rising demand for Kaolin in the paper industry
The significant properties of kaolin such as controlled particle size distribution, platy particle shape, low viscosity, and non-abrasiveness enable the usage of Kaolin in the manufacturing of paper, primarily as a filler and coating. This property of kaolin helps in, improving the quality of paper, purity, rheology, and particle geometry characteristics, Kaolin is also used by the paper industry as a filler reducing cost and for the use of tree-based resources, which is enhancing the growth of the market. The particle size of kaolin plays an important role in fillers and coatings as larger particles provide added strength to paper. Also, kaolin coatings improve paper appearance, giving it varying degrees of gloss, smoothness, brightness, opacity, and most importantly printability. It improves printability by providing added ink absorption, ink pigment holdout, lowering linting tendency, and increasing roughness. Thus, owing to such properties of kaolin in the paper industry the market is further expected to accelerate over the forecast period.
- Increased usage of kaolin in the construction field
Kaolin is used extensively in the construction industry, where its high fusion temperature and white burning characteristics are making it particularly suitable for the manufacture of whiteware, ceramics, porcelain, and refractories. Increased usage of kaolin in cement manufacturing and having properties like plasticity, shrinkage, hardness is boosting the market of kaolin in the construction segment. The increase in the use of kaolin as an artiﬁcial pozzolanic additive for concrete to produce blended cement owing to the high pozzolanic reactivity of metakaolin is also a factor driving the growth of the market.
The Major Players in this Market Include
Technology launches, acquisitions, and R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the APAC kaolin market. In 2019, the market of the APAC kaolin market has been moderately consolidated by the top ten players accounting for 28 % of the share. Major players in the APAC kaolin market are 20 Microns Limited, Ashapura Group, BASF SE, SCR-Sibelco N.V., EICL Limited, Active Minerals International, LLC, Hayashi Kasei Co., Ltd., Imerys S.A., Ashok Mineral Enterprise, and Shree Ram Group of Industries among others.
In May 2020, Sibelco formally completed the acquisition of Ukrainian clay producers. This acquisition augmented Sibelco’s sustainability profile, reserves, and mining life in Ukrainian clay, an important raw material for worldwide production of porcelain tiles.
In June 2020, EICL Limited acquired the full equity shareholding of Kaolin India Private Limited on 03-06-2020 from its group Company, and under the same, Kaolin India Private Limited became its wholly-owned subsidiary Company.
In March 2019, Imerys S.A. launched EType™ hyper-platy kaolin product line, This high coverage kaolin's are designed for a wide range of paper applications, depending on the particle size and plate diameter. They are especially suited for coating lightweight paper. When blended with blocky pigments like calcium carbonate, they improve pre-coating coverage for premium coated paper and board applications.
The emergence of COVID-19, which is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, is having a noticeable impact on APAC economic growth. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic is affecting operations of various industries such as the construction, paints & coatings, and others, as most of the countries in the APAC region, have issued “stay at home guidance” i.e., lockdown and it is expected that the outbreak of COVID-19 will be seen in the whole year of 2020, and a few months in 2021. According to the International Monetary Fund, the GDP in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to decline by 0.2% in 2020. According to the World Bank Organization, growth in developing economies in East Asia and Pacific is projected to decline to 2.1% in the baseline and to a negative 0.5% in the lower-case scenario in 2020, from an estimated 5.8% in 2019. Growth in China is projected to decline to 2.3% in the baseline and 0.1% in the lower-case scenario in 2020, from 6.1% in 2019 as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. As the construction industry is one of the major end-use industries of kaolin in the APAC region, the COVID-19 pandemic has deteriorated the construction industry which is affecting the APAC kaolin market.
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