Paint and Coatings Industry Overview
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Published: January 2012
The major change that has taken place in the coatings industry during the last twenty years has been the adoption of new coating technologies. Until the early 1970s, most of the coatings were conventional low-solids, solvent-based formulations; waterborne (latex) paints, used in architectural applications, accounted for 30–35% of the total. In the late 1970s, however, impending government regulations on air pollution control focusing on industrial coating operations stimulated the development of low-solvent and solventless coatings that could reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Energy conservation and rising solvent costs were also contributing factors. These new coating technologies include waterborne (thermosetting emulsion, colloidal dispersion, water-soluble) coatings, high-solids coatings, two-component systems, powder coatings and radiation-curable coatings.
The following pie chart shows world production of paints and coatings:
The paints and coatings industry in the United States, Western Europe and Japan is mature and generally correlates with the health of the economy, especially housing and construction and transportation. Overall demand from 2011 to 2016 will increase at average annual rates of 1–2% in the United States and 1.5–2.5% in Western Europe. In Japan, however, consumption of paints and coatings will experience relatively slow growth during this period (0.3%) as a result of no growth in major markets such as automotive OEM, machinery and appliances.
In the emergent countries of the world, coatings are growing at a much faster rate. The best prospects for growth are in Asia Pacific (8–10% growth per year in the near future), Eastern Europe (6%) and Latin America (6%). Growth of coatings in China is expected to continue at 8–10% per year, and in India and Indonesia at 5–10%. Growth in value terms will be even higher as a result of the production of relatively higher-valued coatings. Most of the major multinational paint producers, including PPG, Akzo Nobel, Kansai Paint, Nippon Paint, BASF, DuPont, Chugoku Marine Paint, Valspar, Sherwin-Williams and Hempel, have production in China. The multinational producers should gain even more presence in the developing world as living standards increase and per capita consumption of coatings rises.
Through the next five years, air pollution regulations will continue to be a driving force behind the adoption of new coating technologies. Despite the relatively slow growth in demand anticipated for coatings overall, waterborne and high-solids coatings, powders, UV curables and two-component systems appear to have good growth prospects.