The prices of perlite have almost doubled in the last 10 years, from $35 per ton in 2000 to $65 per ton in 2010. Further price rises are forecast for 2011 in view of a strong growing demand. Greece, China, USA, Japan and Turkey are the major producers of perlite. Its general usage is mainly as building construction products (60%). Due to its low cost and low density, perlite has a lot of commercial uses. It is an industrial mineral and a common product used for its light weight after processing. It is used in lightweight plasters and mortars, insulation and ceiling tiles. Perlite is also an excellent filter aid. It is used extensively as an alternative to diatomaceous earth.