Manufacturers of South Asian ceramic tableware have shown resilience to multiple shocks in recent years. Increasing costs and more players, including those offering alternatives to tableware, are expected to push competition up in the coming years.

A lower demand for goods is also a problem for tableware exporters in developed regions, including the European Union and the United States, where economic growth is slowing, recession fears are high, and inflation is rising.

They can, however, find alternatives close by. There is huge potential for manufacturers in the fast-growing Indian market. Moreover, Pakistan and Bangladesh, both with large population bases, could be significant markets in the long run. The South Asian region as a whole is experiencing an increase in personal incomes driving tableware sales as lifestyle items.

The ceramic and porcelain tableware market in this region offers considerable growth opportunities as a result of factors such as the increasing middle-class population and increasing disposable income, the rise of e-commerce adoption, the thriving hospitality industry, and the increasing consumer preference for eco-friendly products and innovative designs. Furthermore, the market has a high potential for exports, caters to urban lifestyles, and is interested in exploring product diversification and collaborations with figures. Manufacturers can position themselves for success in this competitive market by embracing these opportunities, writes Rohan Gunasekera.

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India Mission, a two-decade old initiative, has driven India’s demand for sanitaryware. Construction of toilets under this drive has resulted in an unprecedented rise in sanitaryware consumption. Numerous sanitaryware factories have been founded and expanded across the nation thanks to the Mission. It has opened up immense opportunities for Indian sanitaryware producers to cater to the needs of a large section of the population, which had limited access to toilets until 2014. In his insightful piece, Yogender Singh Malik discusses this Mission and its impact on the Indian sanitation industry.

The semiconductor devices industry is large and important worldwide, but only four markets are relevant in designing and manufacturing them – and all four of them are in East Asia, namely China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

China is the world’s largest consumer of semiconductors. Aside from China, India has seen a dramatic increase in its reliance on imported electronic products, including smartphones and supercomputers, in recent times. Also, as a result of the rapid growth of electronics manufacturing attracting global markets, India has become a major hub for subcontract manufacturing.

Indeed, Asia now dominates the world market for semiconductors, electronic devices, and components incorporating fine or advanced ceramics. The region’s rise as a semiconductor powerhouse is here to stay and bodes well for the ceramic market, notes Jahir Ahmed.

Kiln furniture is in high demand in Asia as ceramic products, from tiles to tableware to electronics and automobiles, grow. As such, kiln furniture producers are responding by making lighter, longer-lasting, and more energy-efficient products with new materials that are becoming even more critical because the ceramics industry is being forced to decarbonise. Rohan Gunasekara examines the shift from standardisation to customised development of kiln furniture.

A growing demand for carbon-free or low-carbon products is driving ceramic companies in Asia to decarbonise their operations, but they must move faster to catch up with Western competitors. In light of the long life of plant and machinery, Rohan Gunasekara warns that time is running out to invest in new firing systems such as kilns and alternative energy sources.


Asia Materials Resources Limited


Kaolin AD

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