LONDON – IRL has published a study entitledPigments and Fillers in the European Coatings Industry.The study provides an overview of the market sizes and trends that govern the demand for all of the key types of pigments and fillers within the European paint and coatings sector.

Pigment consumption by the European paint and coatings industry was rated at 1,035,000 tonnes in 2009, with titanium dioxide use accounting for just over 762,000 tonnes (approximately 73 percent). Carbon black is the second-largest single pigment type, with consumption at 77,500 tonnes, which is just slightly less than the combined use of other inorganic, organic and special-effect pigments. Functional pigments represent a market of 116,000 tonnes.

A number of driving forces continue to shape the market for pigments. These include the elimination of heavy metals and heavy metal salts on the one hand and the greater ingress of competitively priced high-performance pigments from the Far East on the other. Inorganic pigments, although losing some appeal due to cadmium, chromium or barium content, will in general continue to be the preferred types where heat, light and chemical resistance properties are required. Organic pigments represent an area of modest growth.

The volume of fillers and extenders consumed by the European coatings industry is placed at almost 1.65 million tonnes in 2009. The market is dominated by consumption of calcium carbonate at 960,000 tonnes, followed at a considerable distance by talc and kaolin applications.

Most parts of the paint pigments market are growing at between 2 percent and 4 percent per annum (the exception being chromium-containing types, which are in gentle decline), with metallics offering the best growth prospects.

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