Global Trade Flow- Talc
Global talc trade flows declined at a CAGR of 1.2 percent between 2011 and 2015, due to an over all weak demand for talc in various applications, like ceramics, paints, and cosmetics.
North America and Europe are known to be highly mature markets for talc, due to high innovation levels (new applications/customized composition for intended end-uses), high consumption volume, strong distribution network, and stable sales trend (considering all end uses).
China and India are expected to continue to lead global talc exports in the coming years.
New sources of talc supply have been emerging from Pakistan and Afghanistan. High quality talc mined in Afghanistan is milled in Pakistan, following which it is exported to global demand centers, like the US and Europe.
Talc Supply Landscape – Global
APAC will continue to dominate the market in terms of production volume and prospects until 2020.
Market consolidation will continue to increase in North America, South America, and Europe in the coming years, as talc producers continue to optimize operating costs and expand geographical footprint.
Major global talc producers, like Imerys, Mondo Minerals, IMI Fabi, Golcha Associated Group, have been expanding their geographical footprint through acquisitions (ex., IMI Fabi’s acquisition of Magnesita SA), joint ventures with regional talc producers (ex., joint venture between Mondo Minerals and Behai Group in China) and through tie ups with leading chemical distribution companies.
Regional Market Overview
China is expected to continue to lead the global demand and production of talc in the near future. Capacity addition by domestic talc producers is expected to be limited over the next 2–3 years. Resource tax and export tax make Chinese talc 20–30 percent more expensive than the lower priced high quality talc from other Asian countries, like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
India has emerged as a leading producer and exporter of talc over the past few years, with export volume growth of 20 percent annually between 2011 and 2015. However, Indian talc suppliers face strong competition from the cheaper material available from other regional participants, like Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are generally 20–25 percent cheaper than Indian talc.
The US is the third largest consumer of talc in the world, after China and India, and a net importer of the mineral. Talc imports by the US have increased at a CAGR of 14 percent between 2011 and 2015, mainly driven by the growing demand from the automotive plastics market. New capacity additions are mainly aimed at the fast growing automotive plastics market.
Best Practices – Cosmetics Grade Talc
Long-term contracts of 10–20 years with major talc producers offer the best supply security and maximum savings for bulk buyers and protects them against supply shortages in case of capacity expansion projects.
Established buyers of cosmetics grade talc generally prefer producers certified with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), CTPA, CTFA, ISO 22716.