The global talc market size was valued at USD 1,633.67 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 2,211.08 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 3.42% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Talc is a mineral extracted from the earth that occurs naturally, consisting of silicon, magnesium, oxygen, and hydrogen. It is a common silicate material distinguished from other minerals by its extreme softness. Talc can be divided majorly into talc carbonates and talc chlorite. Talc carbonates are the most found form of talc around the world. Talc is insoluble in water and weak acids and alkalis. It is neither flammable nor explosive. It is also organophilic in nature and has very little chemical reactivity. Depending on deposits, a talc platelet can range from 1 millimeter to 100 microns.
Talc is a raw material due to lamellarity, softness, whiteness, fragrance retention, luster, and chemical purity. The other commercial properties of talc are chemical inertness, low abrasion, high thermal conductivity, low electrical conductivity stability, and high oil and grease adsorption. Talc is a versatile mineral with a wide range of industrial uses because of its special surface chemistry and lamellar characteristics. The main industries where talc is utilized include cosmetics, medicines, paints and coatings, ceramics, construction, and pulp and paper.
The growing manufacturing industry and initiatives the government takes toward construction and infrastructure development, specifically in emerging countries, will support the market for paints and coatings, plastics, construction, and many other segments, driving the market for talc. Emerging Asia-Pacific nations with rapid economic growth, markets with potential for high consumer spending, and those with growing industrial and manufacturing competitiveness have begun to pressure their developed counterparts in the global manufacturing sector.
In addition, these economies are advancing significantly in all manufacturing areas, with low- and medium-technology-enabled industries producing up to 65% of the total production. With top manufacturing centers in Asia, such as India and China, now capable of investing in major infrastructure development, high-tech technology majors in sectors such as automotive, aerospace, ceramics, and medical devices are planning further to move up the value chain in the coming years. Therefore, the factors mentioned above drive market growth.
High-aspect-ratio talc is a major improvement over micronized talc concerning various criteria. The high aspect ratio of talc provides excellent stiffness and impact balance. Talc has excellent isotropic shrinkage and CLTE performance, enabling a tighter gap design and providing tolerance control. It also improves the heat deflection performance for many materials. Talc, with a high aspect ratio, combines polypropylene to provide a material with a unique mix of increased stiffness and strong impact resistance. In addition, HAR (High Aspect Ratio) is a new tool for optimization via down-gagging wall thickness, reducing the weight of the part for improved fuel economy and reducing cost.
Furthermore, 20 Microns manufactures AR talc with its innovative and propriety delaminating process, which significantly increases the lamellarity and aspect ratio seven to eight times more than standard talc. This talc can be used in paints and coatings, food packaging films, and lightweight automobile compounds as it provides barrier properties. In paints and coatings, it will protect the paint substrate by impairing the diffusion of water and corrosive agents. AR talc has high purity and brightness, is natural, is inert and free from asbestos, and boasts high-aspect-ratio free-flowing talc, which minimizes settling in the production process, contributing to the market's growth.
The consumption of talc is common in the paper and pulp industry. Using talc in making paper improves the finished product's properties and reduces production costs. Digitalization has affected the paper and pulp industry, especially newsprint, graphite paper, and printing paper. With the rising digitalization, newsprint lost its growth, negatively impacting the talc market.
Furthermore, the growing digitalization is a key factor in the slow growth of the paper and pulp industry. Since 2015, the growth of graphite paper has been declining, and the fall in these products in North America and Europe is more evident. This has affected the growth of the talc market in the paper and pulp industry. Although packaging and tissue papers and pulp for hygiene products are growing worldwide, they are relatively small markets compared to the paper and pulp industry. Hence, a slow-growing paper and pulp industry will hinder the growth of the talc market.
Talc is one of the world's softest minerals with a Mohs hardness of 1. Talc has several properties, such as its resistivity to heat, stiffness, electricity, and acids, which makes it useful for lab countertops and electrical switchboards. Further, talc can be used as a paint and rubber filler. Talc also possesses many favorable properties, as it can increase the stiffness of plastics and improve the strength of products and softness. Hence, it is used in various end-use industries.
In addition, talc is used as a lubricant wherever high temperatures are involved. It is also utilized as a carrier for insecticides and fungicides. It rapidly clings to plant leaves and stems and can easily blow through nozzles. Its softness minimizes damage to application machinery. Therefore, such superior properties associated with talc create opportunities for market expansion.
The global talc market is segmented by deposits and end-user.
Based on deposits, the global talc market is bifurcated into talc carbonates, talc chlorite, and others.
The talc carbonates segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 3.69% over the forecast period. Talc carbonates are the purest form of talc, with a specific gravity of up to 2.86 and a density of up to 2.8 g/cm3. Talc carbonates have a hardness of 1-2, whereas their compressive strength is 250 N/mm2. Also, they have a translucent quality. Talc carbonates are a suite of rock and mineral compositions found in metamorphosed ultramafic rocks. Metamorphism is the change of a mineral's geologic texture in pre-existing rocks. Talc carbonates are formed from changes due to pressure, heat, and the introduction of chemically active fluids.
In addition, talc carbonate ore bodies are mainly composed of talc carbonates and traces of chlorites. Carbonates are magnesite (magnesium carbonate) or dolomite (magnesium and calcium carbonates). Processing talc carbonate ores yield pure talc concentrate by removing any related minerals. The formation of talc carbonate occurs owing to changes in environmental conditions, with rocks heated and pressurized deep inside the earth's surface.
Talc chlorite ore bodies consist mainly of talc and chlorite, which is hydrated magnesium and aluminum silicate. Chlorite is soft, lamellar, and organophilic, like talc. Talc chlorite is less water-repellant than talc. Processing of talc carbonate ores results in the production of pure talc concentrate by removing any related minerals. It is used in many industries due to properties such as platyness, softness, hydrophobicity, organophilicity, inertness, and mineralogical composition. These talc chlorites are widely utilized in the ceramics industry to improve thermal shock resistance. They are also used in paints and coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food, and other industries.
Based on end-user, the global talc market is segmented into plastics, ceramics, cosmetics and personal care, paints and coatings, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, construction, and others.
The paints and coatings segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.19% during the forecast period. Talc can be used in paints and coatings as a pigment, filler, or extender in water-borne, solvent-borne, and powder-borne coatings to improve the mechanical and optical properties and production processes.
They also bring numerous benefits to color, concentrates, enamel, varnishes, gel coat inks, putties, and body fillers. In addition, talc possesses lamellarity and chemical inertness and thus improves paint durability. Talc can be used in a variety of coatings, especially primers. The construction segment is one of the largest end-use markets for paints and coatings. The use of paints and coatings has increased due to more and more construction projects in various regions of the world, driving the talc market.
Talc is frequently utilized in the ceramics industry because of its superior thermal shock resistance and fluxing. It improves the mechanical and optical properties of floor and wall tiles and allows producers to cut energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. Talc can be utilized in several ceramic sectors, such as tiles, automotive cordierite, and fireproof ceramics. Talc can also be used in combination with feldspar on the floor and wall tiles.
In addition, the ceramics industry generally comprises tiles and sanitaryware and its services to the real estate industry. According to World Ceramic Review in 2018, Asia-Pacific is the largest contributor to the global ceramics industry, contributing approximately 72% to global tile production. China and India took up approximately 57% of global tile production. Indian government projects are expected to drive the demand for ceramic tiles in the coming years, supporting the talc market.
Asia-Pacific Dominates the Global Market
Based on region, the global talc market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global talc market shareholder and is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.70% during the forecast period. The growth of the talc market in Asia-Pacific is expected to thrive due to the flourishing construction, automotive, and pulp and paper industries in China and India. These investments will be accountable for the region's talc market growth. The need for high-quality infrastructure in developing countries such as India and China has been driving the growth of the talc market in recent years. In addition, rising foreign investments in emerging countries such as India will boost the market. People with increasing disposable incomes spend more on new and innovative products, both household and industrial, which positively impact the demand for technology-enabled and new-age infrastructure. This, in turn, will raise investments in engineering and construction, thus demanding more talc. Further, rapid urbanization has contributed to the growth of the construction, chemical, and power generation sectors. All these factors are driving the growth of the talc market in Asia-Pacific.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 3.22% over the forecast period. Europe is one of the largest and wealthiest economies. The region has world-class manufacturing industries such as automobiles and construction. Europe has grown rapidly in per capita income, living standards, and technology. Economic development in the region has also led to rapid urbanization. The region's talc market will be driven by automotive, construction, paints and coatings, ceramics, and pulp and paper. Furthermore, the rising investments from the public and private sectors are expected to boost the construction industry over the next few years. The industry is also fueled by renovation activities expected to occur in most residential homes and policy reforms. This is expected to fuel the demand for putty, paints and coatings, cement, and roofing materials, which will drive the market for talc in the region.
Moreover, implementing Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) from 2020 onward might involve more investments in building renovation and retrofit activities per the European Commission norms. This is also a major factor that potentially drives the talc market.
North America is home to some of the world's most developed and major economies, including the crucial US market. Despite having sufficient public infrastructure, countries in North America are set to grapple with the massive investment required to maintain and upgrade the existing infrastructure. An estimated USD 3.50 trillion is required to upgrade the existing infrastructure in the region, including communications, road and rail, transport, schools, and hospitals, to retain their rankings in terms of quality of living. This will support the growth of paints and coatings in the region, thus fueling the market for talc as talc is used in paints and coatings as a filler. Regulations in this region often form the basis for most product development efforts. Moreover, strict regulations regarding energy efficiency have been boosting the development of manufacturing technologies in North America. This, in turn, presents many growth opportunities for vendors in the region.
Latin America has a significant share in the overall talc market owing to revenue generated from two large economies: Brazil and Mexico. Other countries in the region, like Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Portugal, serve as a hotspot for the talc market due to growth in construction and the automotive sector. Further, COVID-19 severely impacted the construction industry in the region. Major projects were halted due to lockdowns imposed in the region. The construction industry in Latin America is expected to restart in key countries by 2021, with growth observed in hotels, housing, and other segments, propel
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