Domestic marketable production of feldspar dipped by 3.8% in 2015 to reach 510,000 t. Feldspar exports grew by 12.5% to reach 18,000 t. However, imports for consumption skyrocketed 1,025% to 90,000 t (from 2014’s 8,000 t); imports of nepheline syenite decreased by 8.5% to 460,000 t. Apparent consumption of feldspar rose 11.5% to 580,000 t. End uses of domestic feldspar and nepheline syenite remained stable at 60% glass and 40% ceramic tile, pottery, and other uses.
According to Global Industry Analysts, the global feldspar market is projected to reach 25.6 Mt by 2022, driven primarily by the recovery in the world construction industry and rising demand for glass and ceramic products. Steady industrialization in developing markets, along with the ensuing rise in the use of feldspar in industrial applications where the mineral’s alumina and alkali content are valuable features, will also positively impact market growth. The growing global focus on renewable energy, particularly solar energy, is expected to spur consumption of feldspar in the production of solar glass used in solar cells.
Global Industry Analysts reports that Europe represents the largest market for feldspar worldwide, supported by robust consumption in the glass industry. Asia-Pacific is projected to emerge as the fastest-growing market, with a CAGR of 7.1% through 2022, led by the rise in new construction projects, rapid urbanization, and increasing disposable incomes of the expanding base of the region’s middle class population.6
According to a report available from Research and Markets, the global feldspar market was worth $343 million in 2015; the market increased 2.6% annually from 2007-2015. Turkey was the dominant exporter of feldspar, with 42% of global exports valued at $145 million. China, India, Thailand and France were the other key global suppliers of feldspar in 2015, with a 32% combined share. China significantly strengthened its position in terms of global feldspar exports, growing its share from 5% in 2007 to 12% in 2015.
Leading destinations of feldspar imports (based on value) in 2015, according to the report, were: Italy (18%), Spain (11%), Taiwan (7%), Russia (6%) and China (5%). While imports to Spain and Italy declined, imports to China grew 24.6% per year from 2007-2015.7
6. Feldspar—A Global Strategic Business Report (published April 2016; $4,500), Global Industry Analysts, Inc., www.strategyr.com.
7. World Feldspar-Market Report, Analysis and Forecast to 2020 (published December 2016; $1,629), Research and Markets, www.researchandmarkets.com.