CONSTANCE, Germany – The market research firm Ceresana has again analyzed the market for pigments, publishing the fourth edition of its study on the subject. The company reports that global pigment sales amount to 9.7 million tonnes per year. The most important sales market in 2014 was the production of paints and varnishes, which accounted for 45 percent of total demand. Processing of pigments in plastics ranked second at a considerable distance, followed by the construction material, printing inks, and paper application areas.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) remains the most in-demand type of pigment. It registered more than 59 percent of total demand. TiO2 is mainly used for paints and coatings. Additionally, TiO2 pigments are used for white paper and the production of plastics.

Iron oxide pigments account for the second-largest market in terms of sales, followed closely by carbon black. Iron oxides are the most commonly used inorganic color pigments. The increasing importance of iron oxide pigments is based on their non-toxicity, chemical stability, wide variety of colors and good performance-price ratio. About 1.9 million tonnes of iron oxide were processed worldwide in 2014, according to the study. Carbon black is mainly used as filler for rubber applications, especially in car tires. Carbon black is also important for the paint industry and is the most common black pigment used in paint.

Other inorganic and organic pigments account for a small share of the total global pigment market, registering approximately 1 million tonnes. However, their application areas are versatile and are increasing.

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