The world market for kaolin is projected to grow 3.7% per year through 2015 to 28.4 million metric tons, valued at nearly $4 billion, according to “World Kaolin,” a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc. This represents a significant acceleration from the relative stagnation of the 2005-2010 period. Growth in kaolin demand will be fueled by a generally stronger economic climate worldwide, with especially rapid growth in developing economies. Kaolin demand in developed economies is forecast to recover from declines seen between 2005 and 2010 and post moderate growth going forward.

The largest gains will be seen in China, which alone will account for 37% of the growth in worldwide kaolin demand between 2010 and 2015. Currently the world’s second-largest consumer of kaolin, China will experience large-scale manufacturing growth and easily overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest kaolin market by 2015. India will also see a sizable increase in kaolin demand, fueled by an economy showing significant development across the board. India’s growth in kaolin demand will represent an acceleration of the already rapid pace of the 2005-2010 period, with the fastest growth occurring in the country’s paper industry. The developed nations of the U.S. and Japan, as well as most of the countries in western Europe, will see weak growth through 2015, although all will post recoveries in comparison to the 2005-2010 performance.

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