The global talc market is projected to reach $3.29 billion by 2021, increasing at a CAGR of 4.9% from 2016-2021, according to a report from Markets and Markets. The talc carbonate segment contributed the largest share to the talc market by type of deposit in 2015; talc carbonate is projected to be the fastest-growing deposit type due mainly to availability and talc purity level, as well as the high percentage of talc found in these deposits. Asia-Pacific represented the largest talc market in 2015, due primarily to growing demand in reinforced plastic parts from the automotive industry, as well as cosmetics, paper, and paints and coatings.15
Domestic apparent consumption of talc in 2015 dipped by 2.7% to 731,000 t. U.S. talc production increased by 3.8% to reach 633,000 t in 2015, while sales edged up 1.1% to 559,000 t valued at $104 million. Talc produced and sold in the U.S. was used in: ceramics (27%), paper (18%), paint (17%), unclassified end uses (14%), plastics (12%), roofing (6%), and cosmetics and rubber (3% each).
The U.S. imported 308,000 t of talc for consumption in 2015, a decline of 5.8%. More than 75% of imported talc was used in cosmetics, paint and plastics applications. Including imported talc, domestic end use in decreasing order by tonnage was in: plastics, ceramics, paint, paper, roofing, cosmetics, rubber, and other. Primary sources for imported talc continued to be Pakistan (32%) and Canada (28%). The percentage of imports originating from China, which had fallen to 12% in 2014, increased to 21%.
Exports increased by 12.9% to reach 210,000 t. Similar to the prior two years, Canada and Mexico collectively received nearly 70% of U.S. talc exports.
Domestic talc production increased for the third consecutive year in 2015, but production and apparent consumption were still approximately 40% and 28% lower, respectively, than in 1995. The largest decreases have taken place in the ceramics (down by approximately 50%), paint (42%), paper (37%) and cosmetics (35%) industries.
While domestic production of pyrophyllite was withheld in order to protect company propriety data, it is estimated to have remained relatively flat compared to 2014. Pyrophyllite was used in refractories, paint and ceramics.
15. Talc Market by Type of Deposit, Application and Region-Global Forecast to 2021 (published September 2016; $5,650), Markets and Markets, www.marketsandmarkets.com.