Raw materials suppliers enjoy bonanza in Indian ceramics industry

By IM Staff
Published: Monday, 03 April 2017

Ceramics production growing rapidly in India; Demand is high for good-quality raw materials; Producers expect expansion to continue

Sunder Singh

Despite a slowdown in the Indian construction sector, ceramics production in the country is growing every year on the back of new entrants and capacity additions by existing producers, delegates at India Ceramics Fair 2017 heard.

 "Demand for zircon products from the ceramics industry has been on a continuous rise, as a result of rapidly growing manufacturing capacity in the sector," Atit Vora, director of the Opaque Group of Companies, a zircon supplier, told IM on the sidelines of the exhibition.

"A few years back, Indian ceramics producers were not very quality conscious. These days, they have started demanding high-quality raw materials," he added.

The pull of the ceramics sector was demonstrated by the international exhibitors at the event. As well as local companies, global suppliers such as Imerys, Sibelco, Esan Eczacibasi Industrial Raw Materials Co. and Kaolin AD exhibited their raw materials capabilities for the ceramic industry. 

India is well placed to cope with rising demand for its ceramic
minerals such as kaolin, feldspar and ball clay

Major Indian raw materials suppliers to the ceramics industry, such as 20 Microns, Ashapura Minchem, Borochemie India, H&R Johnson and VV Minerals, also attended the show as exhibitors. 

Leading Indian garnet and ilmenite producer VV Minerals is one company which has seen  growth in demand for its zircon. 

"Our company and industry have seen a huge growth in demand for raw materials from the ceramics industry in the past few years," M Ramesh, a marketing executive in the zircon division at the firm, told IM.

"Gujarat, in particular, has emerged as a top destination for raw materials producers and processors. The Indian ceramic tile industry has grown by more than 10% in each of the past five years. We expect the industry to perform at the same level for many years to come," Ramesh added.

Ceramics India welcomed international and local ceramics producers
and over 7,000 delegates

Vinay Daga, marketing director at Rajasthan-based Jaichand Lal Daga (JLD) Minerals - a kaolin, bentonite, silica sand, feldspar and ball clay producer - agreed that the future is looking up for the Indian ceramics industry.

"With the passage of time and focus on exports, demand of quality raw materials has seen a surge from ceramics producers in the country," he said.

"These days, Indian producers are not reluctant to spend extra money on raw materials, whereas a few years back quality of raw materials was hardly any concern to a number of these producers," Daga added.

Located in the state of Rajasthan, JLD’s ball clay mines are in the Bikaner and Nagaur districts. The company claims to have mined and supplied about 1,000m tonnes of clay of different varieties to the cement, ceramic tiles and allied industries.