LEATHERHEAD UK – Worldwide high-performance pigment (HPP) consumption is currently estimated at 136,600 tonnes and expected to reach 175,200 tonnes by 2015, according to a new study by IntertechPira.

Rising oil and raw materials prices, coupled with the economic climate, are significant challenges for the high-performance pigments market. But in spite of this, long-term demand for HPPs will continue to grow, especially in some important markets, such as the printing inks and packaging segments.

IntertechPira predicts average global growth for HPPs in excess of four percent for both volume and value over the next five years. Much of this growth is due to the increase in demand for cleaner, brighter colors with high resistance properties. However, with more competition in the market, and with the entrance of new players, pricing is under severe pressure, which is allowing for the use of HPPs in new applications.

According to IntertechPira, Asia is the largest regional market by sales value, with total forecast sales in 2015 of $1.64 billion, followed closely by Europe, with sales of $1.58 billion. North America is the third-largest market, with sales expected to amount to just over $1 billion in 2015. Asia will command 37.3 percent of the global market, Europe 36 percent and North America 23.2 percent.

China is the biggest pigment producer in the world with rapidly increasing output in recent years. China is also the biggest pigment exporter. Exports of pigments reached 1.1 million tonnes in 2009. China’s pigment industry is driven mainly by its thriving downstream industries, such as coatings, ink, plastic, rubber, papermaking and textiles. The country’s coatings industry, for instance, which consumes close to half of all China-produced pigments, is experiencing output growth of 20 percent year on year.

According to IntertechPira, the largest end-use sector is coatings. Sales of coatings are forecast to reach 97,900 tonnes in 2015, or 55.8 percent of the total market. This is followed by the plastics segment, which is forecast to account for 39,100 tonnes of HPP sales in 2015, or 22.3 percent of the total.

The report, The Future of High Performance Pigments III – Market Forecasts to 2015, provides a detailed analysis of the current and future demand for high-performance pigments on a global scale over the next five years. For further information, contact Bill Allen at william.allen@pira-international.com.