Though diverse, industrial minerals markets have largely been in decline throughout 2015 and 2016 due to falling demand in major markets, declining oil prices, and oversupply. In June, I attended the Industrial Minerals’ International Congress (IMIC) in the Czech Republic. It was not a happy place, with a subdued atmosphere and producers, consumers, traders, and processors all feeling the effects of reduced market activity.
The slowdown in Chinese economic growth experienced in late 2015 has had wide-reaching effects on the industry. The lower production and consumption of steel, construction products, ceramics and petroleum/petrochemical products across the globe have all impacted industrial minerals demand significantly. Despite this backdrop, Roskill has found some areas of development and optimism.