In a competitive market like we have in ceramics in the last years, globalized, with common solutions to the standard production issues, differentiation in costs is the only way to remain competitive. So, how much could we save?
The clay does not last forever and, with limited deposits and high market demands, the best clay is very expensive. Add to that the conflict in Crimea, where the Russian occupation has choked the supply of cheap Ukrainian high-quality clay, and you face a situation where lack of supply has caused the raw material prices to increase five times since the manufacturers started using it. This is, of course, critical for the industry, but the forward leaning manufacturers go looking for alternative sources.