Talc Market - France Prevails in the EU Talc and Steatite Trade

Other Mining And Quarrying August 04, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

talc market

Talc is a widespread mineral that has an influence on just about every person in the world. The singularly unique physical properties of talc are highly sought after in many industries. The five basic characteristics of it, namely its softness, chemical inertness, lamellarity, whiteness, and affinity for organic chemicals, not only make talc invaluable for industrial applications but also for day-to-day use. These properties are used in industries manufacturing plastics, rubber, paper, paints, ceramics, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and soap.

Many European countries are viewed as major talc producers in the world, for instance, Finland, France, Italy and Austria. The majority of talc produced in the EU is consumed domestically.

France dominates on the EU talc market and takes the second spot in production. In 2013, France exported 65% of its total talc and steatite output. Of this amount, 20% was supplied to Spain, where French talc and steatite held 61% share of total Spanish consumption.

Although talc is considered a common mineral, there are not many commercially feasible deposits of it. In fact, there are less than 20 talc mines in the EU. The European talc trade is restrained by the inexpensiveness of talc, which does not balance logistic expenses involved in the trade. The types of talc that are imported into the EU are high quality grades supplied mainly by Pakistan and Australia to be further processed in the EU.

Pakistan and Australia were the main suppliers of talc and steatite into the EU, with a combined share of 72.8% of total extra-EU imports in 2013. Pakistan (+57.8% per year) was also the fastest growing supplier in extra-EU imports from 2007 to 2013, followed by the Republic of Korea (+44.6% per year). Pakistan considerably strengthened its position in the European import structure, from 3.5% in 2007 to 56.5% in 2013.

In 2013, the main foreign destinations of extra-EU talc and steatite exports were Israel (11.9%), China (7.2%) and Switzerland (6.4%). The share exported to China increased (+6.8 percentage points), while the share sent to Switzerland illustrated negative dynamics (-5.6 percentage points). The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

One of talc's applications is polypropylene, which is increasingly becoming more prevalent in the automotive industry with the aim of reducing a vehicle's weight. With technological advances, talc is becoming far more common in a variety of industries whose goal is to meet lighter weight requirements. The leading talc producers have also been focusing recently on manufacturing specialty micronized grades of talc to use in plastics compounding.

Do you want to know more about the EU talc market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • talc market share
  • talc prices
  • talc industry
  • talc sales
  • talc market forecast
  • talc price forecast
  • key talc producers

Source: EU: Talc And Steatite - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020