CLEVELAND - Value gains in the U.S. market for pigments in the next several years will be driven by a shift in the product mix toward more costly organic and specialty products that offer environmental or unique optical effects, a recently issued study concludes.

The study, "Pigments: Organic, Inorganic & Specialty," forecasts that U.S. demand for pigments will accelerate by an average of 5% per year over the next several years, reaching a total market size of $3.6 billion in 2007. The report, from The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, projects that demand for inorganic pigments will remain relatively weak due to the continued phase-out of heavy metals, with demand forecast to rise by an average of 3.6% per year through 2007. Demand for organic pigments, on the other hand, is projected to rise by an average of 5.6% per year, while the growth rate for specialty pigments is forecast at 6.7%.

In another report, Freedonia projects that global demand for solvents will expand by a modest 2.3% per year through 2007, to a total of nearly 20 million metric tons. Still, that growth pace would top the 1.2% annual growth rate from 1997 to 2002, the study says.

The global solvents report, "World Solvents," forecasts that demand for the "environmentally unfriendly" hydrocarbon and chlorinated solvent types will continue to decline as a result of environmental regulations, with oxygenated and "green" solvents showing increased demand.

The global solvents study is offered for $4,800 and the pigments report is priced at $3,900. More information is available on the Freedonia website, located at