Asia Boom Seen for Marine Coatings
Global growth in shipping and the offshore industry, aided by new coating advances, are poised to kickstart the Asia-Pacific marine coatings market in the years ahead, a new forecast reports.
"Asia-Pacific Marine Coatings Market Outlook," from market research firm Frost & Sullivan, paints a five-year picture of robust growth that will catapult the $4.84 billion market of 2012 into a $6.69 billion market in 2016.
"The expansion of global trade through sea routes has increased the number of bulk carriers, container ships and general cargo ships manufactured, in turn widening the scope of the marine coatings market in Asia-Pacific," the company reports.
"South Korea, Japan and China are chief shipbuilding countries and will remain the top investment choice for coating manufacturers."
The region will also benefit from the slower economies in Europe and North America. Sea trade and marine coating sales have declined in those regions, driving shipbuilding activities to China and other countries that provide cheap labor.
The upshot: Asia-Pacific remains the "hotspot for shipbuilding" and the associated coatings market, the analysis says.
The report lays out current technology trends based on a 2011 study that included 14 countries and volume and revenue figures for two historical years and two forecast years.
Expanded global trade has increased the number of container ships and bulk carriers, which widens the scope of the current coatings market, Foster & Sullivan reported.
Increasing maintenance of vessels subjected to harsh conditions, repairs at sea, and new shipbuilding are expected to be the primary drivers for the market.
New coating technologies will also fuel growth, Lim Jin Han, Chemical, Materials and Food Consultant for Frost & Sullivan, said in a press release about the report.
Epoxy-based anticorrosive marine coatings are expected to be most popular coating type, due to their "favorable" cost and performance.
Foul-release coatings are expected to show gradual growth and acrylates are leading the antifouling category, said Jin Han. Both coating types are becoming more popular for their ability to prevent the buildup of organic matter on ship hulls, improve fuel efficiency, and decrease emissions.
...And New Challenges
However, the rising cost of coating raw materials has increased production costs and reduced manufacturers' margins. In particular, the soaring price of titanium dioxide will affect consumer demand, the report said.
New developments in coatings technologies are also expected to boost the industry.
"Meanwhile, increasingly stringent regulations governing marine coatings have compelled manufacturers in the region to develop products with low volatile organic compounds (VOC), high solid content, and less harmful biocides," Jin Han said.
"Low-VOC water-based coatings are likely to be the most sustainable option for manufacturers."