LEATHERHEAD, UK – Smithers Apex has released two new market reports covering high-performance coatings and high-performance pigments.

In its study, The Future of High-Performance Paints and Coatings to 2021, Smithers Apex reports that emerging and transitional economies are driving demand for high-performance coatings. According to the report, the market is forecast to reach $41.87 billion in 2021, growing 4.6% annually during the period from 2016 to 2021. Growth is expected due to increasing demand in end-use markets such as transportation, wood coatings and coil coatings.

According to the report, there are a variety of factors that affect regional and global demand for paints and coatings, with some differences in the drivers in the decorative coatings and industrial coatings segments.

Current trends impacting the demand for decorative coatings include housing activity (new build and renovation), government and private investments in commercial and infrastructure projects, and consumer confidence and spending power. “A growing young middle class coupled with increased consumer spending in China continues to drive the demand for high-performance coatings in the automotive, appliance and other consumer goods sectors,” said Keith Jacques, author of the report.

Architectural or decorative coatings make up the largest single market segment for paints and coatings, comprising 53% of the overall market by value and 58% by volume. Industrial coatings are used in a wide range of industry sub-segments, each with its own requirements in terms of the coating system and performance requirements. Protective and marine are the largest industrial segments, together accounting for 27% of total industrial coatings demand.

Housing and construction activity in North America and Europe is forecast to increase slowly over the next five years. In China, while construction has slowed considerably over the last two or three years, it is still expected to grow at a faster rate than in Europe or North America up to 2021. Construction levels in countries such as India, those in Southeast Asia and in South America are growing to meet the rapid rates of urbanization, caused by population movement from rural areas to cities as people are attracted by higher wages.

The study reports that industrial coatings demand is dependent on economic trends, business confidence and industrial output, and consumer confidence.

In its study on the pigments market, The Future of High-Performance Pigments to 2021, Smithers Rapa reports that environmental issues continue to be a hot-button issue for pigment suppliers. The study reports the value of the high-performance pigments market is estimated as $4.75 billion in 2016 and is expected to rise to $5.49 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 2.9%.

The report analyzes the principal market sectors for high-performance pigments (HPPs) and specialty pigments (SPs). These include coatings (architectural, automotive and industrial), plastics, inks (especially for packaging), cosmetics, textiles, and electronics.

Despite the strong move of pigment production to Asia, especially India and China, HPP production is still largely in the control of European, U.S. and Japanese companies.

Several technical advances in the end-user markets will spur demand for new and improved types of HPP across the next five years. There is an increase in demand for more specialized and unique end-use pigments. Small and niche players are also focusing on increased usage of specialized pigments, such as thermochromic pigments and daylight fluorescent pigments. Current and future developments in nano-pigment technology, currently feeding the high end of the market (special effect pigments), can be expected to have an impact on uses of high-performance pigments.

Trevor Sayer, author of the report, commented, “Environmental issues will continue to be a hot-button issue for pigment suppliers. Without question the biggest challenge to the global pigment market will be stricter environmental regulation, especially related to water and industrial waste treatment.

“Company consolidation is another major trend. It is being driven by tighter regulatory and customer requirements, coupled with the highly competitive nature of the global pigment market.”

The global consumption of HPPs and SPs is estimated at 178,844 tonnes for 2016, a figure expected to climb to 206,921 tonnes by the end of 2021 at a CAGR of 3.0%. The largest end-use sector is coatings. This will account for 111,584 tonnes by 2021 – 54% of the total market by volume – and have a global value of just under $3 billion.

An area of growing interest in the coatings field is in heat-control coatings using near-infrared-reflecting pigments. These are an emerging class of HPPs that have dual functionality – in this case imparting color, as well as IR-reflective properties. Use of these pigments allows the production of heat-reflecting coatings with a variety of colors.

Although the market for HPPs and SPs is forecast to grow at a steady rate through to 2021, suppliers are more cautious about adding manufacturing capacity due to the uncertainty and instability the financial crisis caused as they continue to closely manage their inventory. This leaves customers vulnerable to potential stock outs in the event of supply problems or a spike in demand. This is a trend that will continue.