SINGAPORE – Frost & Sullivan's Program Manager of Chemicals, Material and Food Practice, Sheila Senathirajah, reports that industry leaders predict double-digit growth in the Asia-Pacific paint and coatings market in 2011.

The last two years have been a period of uncertainty for most industries. The year 2009 started off grimly for the paint and coatings market but it slowly started to pick up pace towards the end of the year. Moving into 2010, many industry players were cautious but nevertheless hopeful that the year would bring about the recovery of the industry back to more acceptable levels.

The APAC paint and coatings market for 2010 is estimated to be approximately $48 billion with a market size of 15 million metric tons (MT) and a growth rate of 8 to 11 percent. This was aided mainly by the strong driving forces of China and India as well as developing growth from key ASEAN countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. Industry players are optimistic about the prospect of seeing double-digit growth once again in 2011.

According to Senathirajah, the paint and coatings industry is heavily reliant on the end-use industries it serves. "Asia being a developing industrial nation has many key growth sectors that aid the growth of the paint and coatings market. Some of the key industrial sectors monitored are construction, steel, marine, automotive and furniture," she said.

Currently, China is witnessing high growth in its steel and furniture industries while India is similarly experiencing positive growth in its construction and steel industries. ASEAN countries are witnessing growth in construction, marine, automotive and furniture industries.

Senathirajah continues, "As a result of this, we can expect to see positive growth coming from the related coating segments such as decorative, industrial wood, marine, automotive and protective coatings."

In 2011, the industry will also see higher domestic growth in Asian countries with development on the way, spurring the growth of domestic or local players. More local players are expected to enter the industrial coatings segment.

In terms of industry specifics, the coming year will see industry players creating a competitive edge by introducing new innovative products in the market with enhanced sustainability features. Many have already set in place strategies to recapture market share after a two-year lull period. Green-based technology will see high growth, particularly for powder and water-based coatings.

The term “green coatings” is not a new term within the industry; but over the last couple of years, there has been a slow uptake of these coatings due to a significant lack of demand from end-use industry users. While coating manufacturers are pushing these products into the mainstream, the lack of awareness and incentives and higher cost to use these types of coatings within the local consumers have been a barrier to be overcome.

"Nonetheless, we can now certainly see shifts in mindsets moving forward as local governments are coming on board to raise the level of commitment and push for green technology. For example, in early 2010, the Malaysian government launched a RM 1.5 billion “green technology fund scheme" plus providing tax incentives for green certified buildings," said Senathirajah.

"Moving forward, we expect to see growth of 'green coatings' in this region especially in relation to energy conservation, low-VOC emissions and a significant shift from solvent to water-based paints," Senathirajah concluded.