While Sri Lanka is not a top global kaolin producer, its geography still allows several kaolin deposits to be found. Kaolin in Sri Lanka supports several important industries, including export and import. Any business owners targeting a small but growing market can consider Sri Lanka.
Let’s find out more about the general state of the kaolin market in Sri Lanka.
Kaolin Market Trend in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has shown a reduced trend in kaolin export since 2017, probably due to low amounts of kaolin deposits. 2016 showed the highest rate of increase in export trend compared to the previous year: around 175 percent. This trend has not been seen since.
Despite the seemingly low export rate, Sri Lanka still sends its kaolin to several countries. Maldives is the top kaolin export destination, covering around 98 percent of Sri Lanka’s total kaolin export rates. The second most popular destination is Italy, covering the rest 2 percent.
Following the decrease in export trend, Sri Lanka has started to import kaolin more, showing a 70 percent increase in 2021 compared to 2020. This number is expected to stay or even increase in the future. Sri Lanka mostly imports kaolin from China, India, and the United Kingdom, followed by countries like Malaysia, Bulgaria, the United States, and Portugal.
Currently, the largest kaolin supplier areas in Sri Lanka are Colombo, Ratmalana, and Malabe.
Where is Kaolin Found in Sri Lanka?
The majority of kaolin deposits in Sri Lanka are situated in the lowlands near Colombo, the country’s capital. The most prominent deposits are located in spots that used to be ancient swamps and marshes.
One of the most popular sources of commercial kaolin is Boralesgamuwa. Located around nine miles to the southeast of Colombo, this village has supplied the best kaolin for the porcelain industry.
Another well-known kaolin source is Meetiyagoda. Located in the southwestern area of Sri Lanka, this area has similar swampy characteristics to Boralesgamuwa. The Meetiyagoda deposits are known to have high-quality kaolin.
Industries Utilizing Kaolin in Sri Lanka
Kaolin in Sri Lanka is used in several important industries. Here are some examples:
- Tableware Industry
The Sri Lankan tableware industry utilizes huge amounts of minerals and organic materials, including kaolin. Factories use kaolin in the making of plates, cups, glassware, ceramic tableware, and many more. The need for kaolin is so high that factories must import kaolin to get enough material for their production.
- Pulp and Paper Industry
Sri Lanka has quite many pulp and paper factories that require kaolin. Paper with kaolin mixture promises good quality. The sheets are brighter and shinier, and they have better flexibility and structural integrity.
- Paint and Coating Industry
Sri Lanka’s paint and coating industry depends on kaolin to create high-quality products while cutting costs. Kaolin, especially the one that contains alumina and silica, is a cheaper alternative to titanium dioxide. It makes the pigments brighter and improves the quality of the coating function.
- Rubber Industry
Sri Lanka is home to a thriving rubber industry, with rubber growing centers in several areas such as Colombo, Kalutara, Kandy, Gampaha, and Matara. Kaolin is used in the rubber-making industry as a reinforcing agent. Adding kaolin to rubber products will improve their strength, durability, and flexibility.
- Pottery Industry
Pottery is an ancient industry in Sri Lanka, with a long history and strong cultural significance. Kaolin is one of the important materials for the pottery industry, used in making plates, cups, and tiles; both traditional and modern. Kaolin not only improves durability and structural integrity but also contributes to brightness and pigmentation.
The Future of Kaolin in Sri Lanka
Judging from the decreasing trend of kaolin export, Sri Lanka opens the door for more imports to support its industries. It is a good opportunity for businesses that aim to export high-quality kaolin at competitive prices to Sri Lanka.
If you think Sri Lanka’s kaolin business is for you, PT Yudian Kawan Mineral (Yukami) is ready to help. With more than 30 years of experience, Yukami supports any business owners interested in selling kaolin overseas. You can inquire immediately about kaolin export business opportunities to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a country with huge needs for kaolin, yet requires imports to fulfill the national demands. Grab your business opportunity at kaolin in Sri Lanka and contact Yukami.co.id to inquire about exporting kaolin to Sri Lanka.