Demand and sales of pigments in the coatings industry has witnessed sheer proliferation in the recent past, in line with the end-users’ search for environment-friendly and cost-effective solutions that have longer shelf life. Sales of coatings pigment are likely to surpass 11,200,000 tons in 2018, according to a recent Fact.MR study. While high raw material cost and limited availability remain key challenges for manufacturers, opportunities abound for innovative companies in the development of solutions that are durable and offer wide range of functionality.
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Recognizing varied requirements of coatings manufacturers, myriad pigments have been introduced to the market ranging from extenders/fillers and titanium dioxide (TiO2) to color pigments and anti-corrosive, metallic, & pearlscent. Extenders/fillers have traditionally remained the pigment of choice in the coatings industry, however TiO2 variants have been gaining fast momentum in recent years.
Titanium dioxide has emerged as an effective coatings pigment in the recent past, owing to its incomparably high refractive index and light-phobic nature. Titanium dioxide sales in the coating pigments market are expected to witness an increase of nearly 154,000 tons (50%) in 2018 over 2017.
High Gains from Architectural Industry
Notable positive trends influencing coatings pigment sales in the architectural industry, ranging from preference for hardwood flooring, and shift from wallpapering toward painting, have gained increased palpability. Coatings pigment sales in the architectural industry have also been influenced by development of innovative technologies for interior decorative applications.
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Coatings pigment sales in the architectural industry are estimated at 4,400,000 tons in 2018, registering a Y-o-Y growth of over 4%. Majority of this growth can be attributed to contribution of innovations, which in turn are spurring investments in the novel pigment technology development. Increasing efficiency and strength of pigments is currently a key focus area among manufacturers for delivering added value to end-users.
High Performance and Greater Functionality – Key Developmental Focus Areas
High performance pigments that feature greater functionality have been witnessing high demand in the coatings industry. Added functionality widely varies among end-user requirements, ranging from provision of solar reflectance for formulation of cool coatings to unique special effect finish coupled with enhanced durability. Utilization of cool coatings is fast gaining momentum, particularly in the automotive industry, where IR-reflective high performance pigments are in robust demand. Overall coatings pigment sales in the automotive industry is estimated at over 1,000,000 Mn in 2018.
Enhanced pigment functionality is a key aspect for vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and driverless cars. In the wake of autonomous vehicles, the focus of manufacturers is on development of functional pigments capable of being formulated into distinct layers of automotive coatings. This is expected to facilitate vehicles’ visibility to detection systems implemented in driverless vehicles. Leading players in the coatings pigment market are also working on development of coatings with improved radar reflectivity, to facilitate vehicle visualization on road.
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Raw Material Challenges to Confine Growth Prospects of Coatings Pigment Market
Highly dynamic nature of the coatings pigment market can be attributed to response of manufacturers to changes in the supply chain, availability, pricing, regional regulations, and end-user preferences. Increased activities apropos of new technologies have further added to the dynamic nature of the coatings pigment market. Stronger enforcement of stringent environmental regulations to limit emissions, has resulted in lack of raw material.
Coatings pigment manufacturers who find it challenging in obtaining high-spec materials are shifting their focus toward lower-quality ingredients, thereby leading to production of low-quality pigments. However, companies with robust supply chain management capability are at advantage, as they can ensure facilitated access to good-quality raw materials.
Fact.MR’s report offers a detailed forecast on the coatings pigment market for the period 2018 to 2027. The report foresees the coatings pigment market to record a steady 4.9% volume CAGR through 2027.