Numerous valuable benefits, ranging from its use in the beauty industry to the ceramic and paper-coating industry, the production of kaolin in China was estimated at 2,1 Mt in 2002. That huge amount represented around 8% of the world’s total production.

You may not have noticed, but this kaolin, which is also called white clay, has a significant role in different kinds of industries in the world. 

Here are some stimulating facts to facilitate you realizing better about these clay minerals in terms of the business industry in China.

Overview of Trend and Market of Kaolin in China 

Illustration of urban atmosphere in China

As mentioned earlier, kaolin is one of the key materials in producing many industrial goods. Porcelain, ceramics, medical and sanitary products, fiberglass, paper and paper board, and constructions are just a few industries in China where kaolin still is the major component required in the production process. 

Related: Discovering the Versatile of Kaolin Uses in Various Industries

The market trends of kaolin in China were predicted by data presented by Daxue Consulting dated 2018, which will grow up to a 7% rate per year. It was predicted that increasing demand in the construction industry would be one of the driving factors to the growth of trends in kaolin production in China in 2021. 

Which Industry Consumes Kaolin The Most In China?

While China is one of the largest producers of kaolin, the country is also one of the largest kaolin consumers in the Asia Pacific. Several sources, such as Azom, Daxue Consulting, and Fortune Business Sight said that worldwide, the paper-making industry (paper coating, paper board, etc.). The same applies in China, where the paper-making industry absorbed about 45% of kaolin in 2018.

Right after, the ceramic industry is the second most needing of kaolin since China produces quite a high number of ceramic goods. 

Also, from the research of 2018, Chinese Powder mentioned a prediction of growing demand in the kaolin market in China in 2022 (this current year) for local kaolin to meet the needs in ceramics (about 70%). 

The list is followed by construction, glass fiber, and other industries like pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and even agricultural industries in China that dim an increasing demand for kaolin use. 

Kaolin Trade Activities in China, A More Positive Futur From 2021

Illustration of trading activity at a port in China

From the supply and demand point of view, China is acknowledged as one of the largest producers of kaolin in the Asia Pacific. Through the recent data revealed by OEC, by 2020, China ranks as the 4th largest exporter of kaolin in the world and the 2nd largest importer of kaolin in the world.

A. Imports 

In the period 2019 to 2020, China recorded Malaysia, Hongkong, and France as the fastest importer of kaolin to China. As of 2021, China still imported kaolin from different countries such as the US, UK, Indonesia, and Brazil. 

Related: Tips for Importers: What to Consider When Buying Kaolin Import

B. Exports

The export market for kaolin for China between 2019 and 2020 were countries in Asia which were Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India. Specifically, in December 2021, surprisingly, OEC reported an increasing number of exports of kaolin from China to various destinations. 

The export demand in December 2021 was coming from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Taiwan, and Pakistan. 

C. Final Balance of 2021

With the exports reported up to $24.6M and the imports that showed up to $14.8M, the final outcome reports a more positive balance which was stated at $9.87M. It somehow delivers a more prospective kaolin trade activity for China.

Types of Industry Grade Kaolin Products In China 

So you may ask yourself why China still imports kaolin when they are also one of the largest producers as well? The answer is there are different types of kaolin grades for each different industry’s needs. 

In 2018, China made sure to supply a low to mid-quality kaolin worldwide since, at that time, the technological requirements to proceed with high-quality kaolin were still difficult for the country. The type of industry-grade kaolin product in China is quite various :

  1. Synthesis Material Intermediates: used for the skin care industry, factory supply, decolorant rubber filler, optical glass;
  2. Cosmetics Raw Materials: used for cosmetics ingredients;
  3. Pharmaceutical Intermediates: used for medicine ingredients
  4. Ceramic Raw Materials: used for making ceramics and ceramic coating;
  5. Refractory Clay Materials: for refractory usage (such as oil, paint industry).

Related: What Does Refractory Kaolin Means and What Is It Used For?

Kaolin Resources in China

illustration of kaolin factory in china

As the country is large, so are the kaolin resources located in China. There are at least six different provinces in China that produce large amounts of kaolin. You can follow the data below : 

  • Guangdong
  • Shandong
  • Jiangsu
  • Zhejiang
  • Hunan
  • Shanghai

The fact of kaolin benefits diverse industries is very intriguing. After reading this, you may be curious to dig deeper about the kaolin in China or even from other countries for your company or your personal needs. So be sure to read and get more information about kaolin from Indonesia as well.