CLEVELAND - Demand in the United States for color pigments, including inorganic, organic and specialty types, is forecast to increase 5.2 percent per year to $3.4 billion in 2009, driven by above-average gains in high-performance organic pigments and various specialty types. These and other trends are presented in "Pigments: Inorganic, Organic & Specialty," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Specialty pigments, such as pearlescent types, are projected to achieve the most rapid gains through 2009. Opportunities will arise from increased requirements for unique and novel eye-catching optical effects by manufacturers of such products as paint and coatings, printing inks, plastics, leather, and cosmetics. Certain luminescent pigments (e.g., phosphorescent) will also achieve favorable gains, due to their use in anti-forgery, anti-counterfeiting and other security applications.

Growth in organic pigments will continue to benefit from trends toward more expensive, high-performance pigments and the displacement of heavy-metal-based inorganic pigments. These colorants have a superior environmental profile in comparison to inorganic pigments (and to some dyes, as well) and are also benefiting from the desire to produce more vivid colors, particularly in printing inks, a major outlet for organic pigments. Inorganic pigment demand will post below-average gains through 2009, primarily due to the continued phase-out of heavy-metal types (e.g., chromate).

Three major markets consume nearly three-quarters of color pigment demand in the United States: paint and coatings, printing inks, and plastics. Of these three markets, printing inks are expected to record the fastest growth, boosted by the greater use of metallic pigments in inks designed for packaging and promotional graphics, and phosphorescent pigments in anti-forgery, anti-counterfeiting and other security applications. Opportunities will also arise in the paint and coatings and plastics markets, as pigments benefit from manufacturers seeking to create new colors and visual effects that distinguish their products in the marketplace.

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