The Czech Republic is home to the greatest concentration of top-tier paint-manufacturing companies in Eastern Europe, with eight of the region's top-50 coatings manufacturers, a new report says.

The Top 50 Paint Companies in Eastern Europe, from Information Resources Ltd. (IRL), reports that Russia is the second-most represented nation in the top 50 companies, with six manufacturers, while four of the top 50 companies are based in Turkey. The study says that major paint makers are equally distributed among Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine.

The study reports that paint imports have expanded significantly since 1997, with a doubling of import volume seen since 1997 in Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. The report includes figures on paint trade, consumption and per-capita consumption, and a directory of the top companies in 13 Eastern European countries.

In a separate report, The Western European Market for Industrial Wood Coatings, IRL found that demand for industrial wood coatings has stagnated or declined in Western European markets, except for Spain.

The total Western European market for industrial wood coatings is estimated at 177,750 metric tons in 2003, with declining demand reported for nitrocellulose and acid-catalyzed finishes, but growth in waterborne and UV-cure products, the report says. Demand in Germany is reported to have declined to 45,000 metric tons, pushing it down to the third-largest market for industrial wood coatings after Italy and Spain. Overall demand in the region is forecast to remain flat, with any growth described as being dependent on substitution of new technologies.

The major market segments are furniture, with 56% of the total; joinery, 28%; and parquet, 16%. The furniture market is described as shrinking, while demand for parquet finishes has grown slowly, despite an overall decline in flooring demand. Four major companies share 40% of the coatings market, with no other producer accounting for more than 2% of the total, the report says.

For more informaiton, go to IRL's Web site,