Global Talc Market - China, Brazil, the U.S. and India Remain the Major Consumers

Other Mining And Quarrying July 18, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

IndexBox has just published a new report "World: Talc And Steatite - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Talc and Steatite Consumption Was Increasing for Two Years in a Row

In 2016, the global talc and steatite market totalled 7.3M tonnes, growing over the last two years. Previously, the market volume markedly fluctuated in certain years, but as a result, the total market volume exceeded the initial level only by 2%. According to IndexBox estimates, the market stood at $2.0B in wholesale prices in 2016, contracting mildly from the highest point of 2013. Prior to this, the market has grown significantly over three years after a slight contraction in 2009-2010 under the influence of changes in world prices for talc.

China, Brazil, the U.S. and India Were the Major Consumers of Talc and Steatite

The countries with the highest consumption were China (19% of total consmption), Brazil (12%), the U.S. (11%), India (8%), Germany (4%), Japan (3%), France, Russia, Mexico, Canada, Korea and Thailand (2%, each), with the remaining consuming leaders together comprising near 30% of global consumption. 

The highest annual growth rates of talc and steatite consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in Brazil, with +9.0% growth. Consequently, Brazil strengthened its share in terms of the global consumption from 6% in 2007 to 12% in 2016. China, given the CAGR of consumption at +4.1% per year, also improved its positions in the market structure by +5 percentage points. By contrast, the shares of Finland (-3 percentage points) and India (-4 percentage points) declined over the period under review.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high levels of per capita consumption were recorded in Brazil (4.1 kg/year in 2016), Canada (4.0 kg/year), and Germany (3.4 kg/year), which were significantly higher than the world average of 1.0 kg/year. In Brazil and Canada, per capita consumption grew rapidly, while in Germany it reduced from 2007-2016. 

A Modest Growth Is Expected with regard to Talc and Steatite Consumption, Driven by Construction and Manufacturing Growth in Developing Countries

Manufacturing sectors that consume talc include motor vehicles, paints and coatings, adhesives, plastics, rubber; construction materials manufacturing also constitutes a major talc-consuming industry. Therefore, the expansion of the construction sector, along with the growth of the automotive industry in the U.S. and the rapidly developing countries of Asia, are the key factors affecting the world market of talc and steatite. In addition, Asia is expected to remain the fastest-growing region in the global market of talc and steatite, due to the active processes of urbanisation, including demand for construction sector and construction materials, and an increase in the population's standard of living. The U.S. is also an important market, with a steady expansion in construction, combined with the stable levels of employment and the rising industrial manufacturing, which leads to an increasing demand for talc and related products.

In general, the current upward trend of the global talc and steatite market is expected to continue with a growth of +0.5% annually, which is anticipated to drive the market volume to 7.7M tonnes by 2025.

China Remained the Largest Producer of Talc and Steatite

Production of talc and steatite reached the highest level of 7.3M tonnes in 2016, experiencing some notable fluctuations over the analysed period. 

China was the key world talc and steatite producing country with an output of about 2.2M tonnes in 2016, which accounted for 30% of total global output. The other major producers were Brazil (12%), India (11%), the U.S. (9%), France (6%), Finland (4%), Italy, Russia, Canada, and Austria (2%, each). 

In Brazil and Canada, production levels increased by +8.7% and by +5.9% annually from 2007 to 2016. Most of the other major producing countries showed more modest or negative paces of growth.

Approx. 44% of Total Production Was Dedicated to Exports

Talc and steatite is a widely traded commodity, with the share of exports in total global output being about 44% over the period under review. High trade intensity is determined mainly by the substantial distances between the main countries of talc and steatite manufacturing and key consuming countries. Talc and steatite will continue to be highly traded, fueled by increasing consumption, growth of construction industry, trade liberalisation policies, intense global and regional integration. 

China Remains the Major Global Exporter of Talc and Steatite

In 2016, the volume of global exports totalled 3.2M tonnes in 2016, with a mixed trend pattern over the last few years. A pronounced growth of 2016 by 13%, was followed by somewhat noticeable fluctuations over the previous four years.

China (26% of total exports) was the main global supplier of talc and steatite. France took the second position in the ranking with 9%, followed by Afghanistan (9%), Finland (8%), Pakistan (8%), the U.S. (7%) and India (6%). While most of the talk imported by the U.S. and other countries comes from Pakistan, a large portion of these shipments is made of talc mined in Afghanistan. 

The remaining global exporters held 27% of total exports. From 2007 to 2016, Pakistan (+47.3% per year) and Afghanistan (+43.6% per year) were the fastest growing suppliers among the major exporters. However, since shipments from Afghanistan are not reflected in the official statistics of this country, they are estimated using mirror data from Pakistan. Presumably, these volumes are then re-exported from Pakistan, possibly, partially or completely processed. This explains very similar growth rate in shipments from these two countries.

Despite being one of the largest global producers of talc and steatite, Brazil did not export much of their production, meaning that it was consumed domestically. Afghanistan (+8 percentage points), Pakistan (+8 percentage points) and India (+4 percentage points) increased their shares in total export structure, while China saw its share reduced from 35% in 2007 to 26% in 2016.

The U.S., Germany and Pakistan Held 30% of Global Talc and Steatite Imports

The volume of global imports totalled 3.2M tonnes or $945M in 2016. Imports trend pattern generally mirrored that of exports: these trade flows globally complement each other. 

In 2016, the U.S. (12% of total imports), Germany (9%), Pakistan (9%), Japan (7%) and the Netherlands (7%), Belgium (5%) and Korea (5%) constituted the leading destinations of talc and steatite imports, with the other leading importers together comprising 47% of global imports. Amongst the major importing countries Pakistan (+43.6% per year) gained the highest annual growth rates from 2007 to 2016. The growth in imports into Pakistan could be explained by growth in shipments from neighbouring Afghanistan, which are then re-exported to other countries.

While the share of Pakistan (+8 percentage points) and the U.S. (+4 percentage points) increased from 2007 to 2016, the share of Germany (-3 percentage points), Belgium (-2 percentage points) and Japan (-2 percentage points) illustrated a slight contraction. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analysed period. 

Do you want to know more about the global 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 import
  • talc export
  • talc market forecast
  • talc price forecast
  • key talc producers

Source: World: Talc And Steatite - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025