WEST CALDWELL, N.J. - According to a new study by Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney, Asian coatings consumption surged to 7.9 MM metric tons with a sales value of $20.5 billion in 2004. An 8 percent annual rate of growth (AGR) is forecast for the region through 2009, significantly higher than the mature growth rates found in the United States and Europe.

China and India are the fastest growing countries for coatings in Asia, both expanding at double-digit rates. China has recently surpassed Japan to become the largest coatings market in Asia. In 2004, China accounted for 42 percent of the coating volume and one-third of the dollars in the region. A strong housing market, infrastructure building, the increased domestic consumption of goods and growing exports are propelling coating demand in China. Indian coatings usage is also expanding because of a strong housing market and infrastructure building. Vehicle production in India is rapidly increasing. However, India is significantly behind China in the manufacture of most goods utilizing paint. In contrast to China and India, coatings consumption in Japan has stagnated. Japan remains the largest consumer of automotive coatings in Asia, but China will surpass the country by 2009.

"The Asian Coatings Industry" is a 500-page study that is available through subscription. For additional information, call Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney at 973/439.0030, or e-mail nerlfikng@cs.com.