They reflect. They insulate. They self-clean and fight bacteria. And because they perform all these innovative functions and more, pigments will be in above-average demand worldwide in the next few years, according to a new market forecast.
The global pigment market will top $45 billion in revenues by 2018, led by exceptional growth rates of 3.6% to 4.4% in the fast-developing emerging markets of China, India, South America and the Middle East, Ceresana Research, a German-based industrial research firm, reports in Market Forecast: Pigments.
|Pigments are expected to be a $45 billion global market by 2018.|
Not surprisingly, Asia-Pacific made up the largest pigment market area in 2010, generating about 45% of the global demand—a huge market influence that will continue to be felt over the next few years, the study says. North America and Western Europe were the next largest markets.
Pigments have always been used primarily as colorants. In recent years, however, new technology has given them highly sought-after functional characteristics. In addition to higher color intensity and greater color variety, today’s pigments offer UV and antibacterial protection, self-clean, reflect infrared light and insulate.
Pigments are mainly used in well-established industries, such as paint, coatings and varnish and plastics production, and the construction industry has a strong impact on demand. Demand in individual countries typically follows overall economic development, Ceresana reports.
Focus on TiO2, Carbon Black
Titanium dioxide, the most common pigment used in coatings, will hold more than 60% of the global pigment market, Ceresana says. Coatings companies worldwide are scrambling to produce more TiO2 and find alternatives to the pigment. DuPont Chemical, the world’s largest producer of titanium dioxide, announced a comprehensive titanium dioxide expansion plan that will add about 771 million pounds of global capacity.
Iron oxides are used worldwide for construction materials, paints and varnishes, but are also gaining importance for other products. For example, pigments for the food and cosmetics industry will see considerably higher growth of 3.5% annually, Ceresana says.
Carbon Black pigments, used in a number of plastics, also represent a strong growth market worldwide, as many emerging countries increase their consumption of plastics.
The demand for different types of pigments in individual regions shows different developments, with iron oxides and organic pigments growing fastest in North America and Western Europe, and titanium dioxide and carbon black increasing significantly in other regions.
The report includes extensive profiles of the world’s 303 pigment producers, who include BASF, Clariant, Cristal Global, DuPont, Evonik Caron Black, Heubach, Huntsman International, Lanxess and KRONOS Worldwide.