Iraq currently imports most of its kaolin needs, making it an ideal market for future kaolin traders and business owners. Kaolin in Iraq is used for various industries, from modern ones to traditional crafts that have been around for ages. The rising import trend in this country could be a consideration for kaolin business owners.

Overview of the Kaolin Market in Iraq

In general, the kaolin market in Iraq saw a 36 percent increase in 2021. However, the kaolin market showed a positive trend for imports and a negative for export.

The Kaolin export rate from Iraq showed almost a 99 percent decrease in 2019. This was a sharp difference compared to 2018, which showed an increase of 1,136 percent compared to the previous year. The decrease included lower numbers of exports to Italy, one of Iraq’s major export destinations.

Local businesses’ high demand for kaolin turned Iraq into a major importer. The top three countries that supply kaolin to Iraq are India, the United States, and the UK. The three countries comprise 87 percent of kaolin import sources for Iraq.

The remaining kaolin supply to Iraq comes from countries such as China and Turkey.

Sources of Kaolin in Iraq

Kaolin in Iraq mostly comes from several major deposits in the Western and Southern deserts, such as Hussainiyat, Ga’ara, and Amij formations. These deposits consist of both white and colored clays, which are valuable sources for various industries.

The potentials of kaolin deposits in Iraq have been studied extensively, including a major study by Czech experts in 1960 that uncovered the kaolin’s quality for the ceramic industry.

How Kaolin is Used in Iraq

example of the use of kaolin in iraq

Several industries use kaolin in Iraq, including traditional craftsmanship. Here are some of them:

1. Construction

Kaolin is used in the construction business and related industries in Iraq. It provides brighter coloring in cement mixture and improves durability. A 2021 study published in the University of Baghdad Engineering Journal showed that kaolin improves the durability and performance of concrete blocks. Kaolin can also be used as a good filler material to improve the structural integrity of a building.

2. Pottery

Pottery is ancient craftsmanship in Iraq, and artists require endless supplies of white clay (kaolin), among other resources. While traditional potters face competition with plastics, clay jars, vases, and other products are still popular in Iraq markets. They are also exported to other countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

3. Paint and Pigment

Paint and pigment are essential for industries like construction, pottery, and ceramic-making; all are abundant in Iraq. Kaolin mixture helps bring out the opacity and brightness of colors in paint and pigment. This is especially effective for non-glossy (matte) paint.

Related: All You Need to Know about Kaolin Clay as Paints & Coatings

4. Coated Paper

Kaolin is a sought-out material for the paper industry in Iraq. The kaolin-coated paper has smoothness, opacity, and brightness, making it different from lower-grade products. Kaolin coat also gives the paper a good printing quality.

5. Whiteware 

Iraq’s whiteware industry uses kaolin to bring up the beautiful sheen and brightness that make the pieces look distinguished. Kaolin has white burning traits and high fusion temperature ideal for creating high-quality whiteware.

6. Water Filter for Oil Industry

Iraq’s oil industry requires a good water filter material to support the mechanical process. A 2022 study showed that kaolin has a slightly better efficiency in working as a water filter than other types of clay. Kaolin in the water filter is also able to reduce the salt content in the water, further improving the quality of the water used in the industry.

The Future of the Kaolin Market in Iraq

The Kaolin market trend in Iraq currently shows negative in export but positive in imports. With the growing need for materials for industry, craftsmanship, and construction, there seems to be good potential for kaolin business owners to sell to Iraq. 

If you want to sell kaolin to Iraq or other countries, get your kaolin from a reliable source. Yukami is an Indonesia-based supplier of kaolin and kaolin derivative products. The company sells to local and international customers, a perfect business partner to start a kaolin business. With over 30 years of experience, Yukami is an exceptional solution for running a successful kaolin business.

Kaolin in Iraq has a huge import potential. Make sure to get your kaolin from a reliable supplier like Yukami before considering selling to other countries.