Which Country Imports the Most Clays in the World?

Other Non-Ferrous Metal Ores May 28, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

In 2016, approx. 15M tonnes of clay were imported worldwide; coming down by -3.5% against the previous year level. Overall, clay imports continue to indicate a slight descent. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2010, when import increased by 15% y-o-y. Global clay import peaked of 17M tonnes in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2016, it failed to regain its strength.

In value terms, clay imports amounted to $1.8B in 2016. In general, clay imports continue to indicate a slight downturn. Global clay import peaked of $2.3B in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

Top Clay Importing Countries in the World

1. Japan (143.5 million USD)

2. Belgium (132.4 million USD)

3. Germany (125.4 million USD)

4. Finland (114.1 million USD)

5. China (112.3 million USD)

6. Spain (110.2 million USD)

7. Italy (104.5 million USD)

8. Mexico (80.5 million USD)

9. Canada (74.0 million USD)

10. India (36.4 million USD)

11. Russia (29.2 million USD)

12. United Kingdom (21.7 million USD)

Clay Imports By Country

In 2016, the UK (2M tonnes), Belgium (1.7M tonnes), China (1.4M tonnes), and Spain (1.4M tonnes) represented the key importers of clay in the world, committing 45% of total import. Italy (843K tonnes) ranks second globally in clay imports with a 6% share, following Finland (5%). The following importers - Japan (591K tonnes), Germany (578K tonnes), Mexico (468K tonnes), Canada (418K tonnes), Russia (407K tonnes), and India (382K tonnes) together made up 19% of total imports.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of clay imports, among the main importing countries, was attained by Belgium (+7.6% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest clay markets worldwide were Japan ($144M), Belgium ($132M) and Germany ($125M), together comprising 22% of global imports.Finland, China, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Canada, India, Russia and the UK lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 38%.

India (+16.8% per year) recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to the clay imports, in terms of the main importing countries, over the last 9 year period, while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Clay Import Prices By Country

The average clay import price stood at $123 per tonne in 2016, import ,therefore, remained relatively stable against the previous year level. In general, clay import price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2008, when import increased by 4% y-o-y. Over the period under review, average clay import price attained its maximum level of $140 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2016, it stood at a somewhat lower level.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst major importing countries. In 2016, the country with the highest import prices was Japan ($243 per tonne), while the UK ($11 per tonne) was among the lowest.

From 2007 to 2016, the most notable growth rate of clay import prices was attained by India (+11.0% per year), while the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

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

  • clay market share
  • clay prices
  • clay industry
  • clay sales
  • clay import
  • clay export
  • clay market forecast
  • clay price forecast
  • key clay producers

All data provided in this article covers the following product: HS Code 2507 - Kaolin and other kaolinic clays; whether or not calcined.

Source: World: Clays - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025