WEST CALDWELL, NJ - According to the consulting firm of Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney, Asia consumed 9.7 million metric tons (21 billion pounds) of coatings in 2007, worth $28.7 billion. Volume is up 23 percent from 2004, while dollar value has increased by 40 percent. Coatings prices have risen only modestly in Asia, but the weakening U.S. dollar has given an additional boost to value. Some two-thirds of the tonnage increase is attributable to sharp gains in China.

China is the largest user of coatings in Asia with 4.5 million tons, worth $11.6 billion, consumed in 2007. A robust 11 percent annual rate of growth is forecast. Japan holds second position with 14 percent of volume, but 21 percent of the dollars as higher-value coatings are consumed. Minimal growth is forecast for Japanese coatings. India is the third-largest coatings consumer in volume, with a 12 percent share, and is fourth in sales value behind South Korea with a 10 percent share. Coatings volume is expanding at a 12-percent yearly rate in India, which will shortly pass Japan in tonnage and South Korea in sales value. South Korea has a large industrial base, as is the case for Japan, and captures 12 percent of the Asian coatings sales value. Volume is projected to be up nearly 30 percent by 2010. 

Architectural is the largest coatings segment with 4.7 million tons, worth $10.2 billion, consumed in Asia in 2007. China and India are the largest architectural coatings outlets with two-thirds of the volume; both are growing at double-digit rates. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) comprise the second-largest segment with 3.1 million tons valued at $12 billion. China captures 43 percent of the dollars and is followed by Japan with a 27 percent share and South Korea with 13 percent. China also leads in the special-purpose coatings category with 38 percent of the $6.4 billion sales in 2007. Japan is next with a 22 percent share and is followed by Korea, which captured nearly 20 percent. Industrial maintenance and marine are the largest end uses in special-purpose coatings.