Calcium Carbonate has historically been one of the preferred fillers for the paper industry. In recent years; it has also become preferred filler for paint industry, heavily substituting kaolin in this application. While the primary reason has been the high quality of kaolin, Customers are also shifting due to the better opacity, gloss and scrub resistance provided by calcium carbonate. while paint and paper are likely to remain main application focus for Calcium Carbonate, relatively higher growth in segments such as Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC) and Master batches offer significant potential for a supplier to target, primarily due to large expansion plans of companies such as Plastiblends and Finolex in India.Additionally, there is significant import substitution potential for steric coated grades of ground calcium carbonate (GCC) and Precipitated Calcium Carbonate in master batches and PVC applications.
The key challenge suppliers face today is delivering high product performance in what has become highly commoditized market. Inclusion of niche grades (such as steric coated for master batches and PVC) and application development along with the end user has to be the focus for suppliers looking to make premium offering and improving their margins. However this can only be in addition to the high-Volume sales of commodity grades, as the potential to make premium calcium carbonate offerings in India remains low.
The demand for PCC is limited by its niche applications segments and its price.Eventhough PCC finds niche usage in application such as pharmaceuticals and oral care. There are alternate fillers also which are also fulfilling the needs of the respective industry. As a result, GCC accounts for 85% of the calcium carbonate consumed today, while PCC is only 15% of nearly 3 million MT market size. This market is serviced by 4 Large-scale calcium carbonate producers that account for around 30% of the market and an additional 20-22% of demand is met by imports. The remainder of the market is fragmented and is catered to by medium, small-scale and unorganized producers.
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