In addition to developing new applications, Borax is actively seeking to develop new markets for borates. One example is China. Currently, both the United States and Europe use approximately 1,000 tons of borates for every one million people. China, however, uses less than 100 tons of borates for every one million people. Chiaro notes that China is a developing market, and because borates are used for so many new technologies, as “standards of living rise, the use of borates will rise.”
To meet the increased need for borates in this market, Borax has established three offices in China, which are staffed by local experts who have a strong understanding of the market.
“We want to get in on the ground floor of the growth in China,” Chiaro says. “We are also developing resources found in China.”
Although the company experienced a slowdown in growth last year – sales were down eight percent from what was forecasted and the global borate market shrank by two percent – Borax is beginning to see a turnaround this year, and is reporting steady growth since January.
Chiaro believes that the main goal is to find growth in a market that is believed to be mature. To this end, the company works to educate its customers on the advantages of refined borates over raw minerals in both their processes and products.
“I am proud of our history. The company goes back 130 years, and we have remained the leading borate supplier throughout that time. We have ramped up our innovation activities while remaining profitable. I want us to be the global borate supplier of choice. We have a customer focus, so we want the customer to choose us.”