The total paint market in Western Europe in 2006 was estimated at 6.67 million metric tons (mmt), which corresponds to average annual growth of 0.7% per year over the last three years, according to a new report from Information Research. Future growth expectations for the market are stronger, with optimistic industry estimates of growth being about 2.4% per year, which would place the market at 7.53 mmt by 2011. Western Europe now boasts three markets with a volume exceeding 1 mmt - Germany, Spain and Italy.

The report, titled “A Profile of the Western European Paint Industry,” notes that general industrial coatings, usually considered the largest segment of the industrial coatings sector, is an area that will see some upheaval in the future. This sector is already beginning to wane in some parts of Western Europe but in what remains of it, the emphasis will be on reformulation, as traditional alkyd paints become unacceptable. The individual general industrial coatings markets vary considerably across Western Europe, with some countries having a marked preference for modern quality, while others are apt to resist converting to compliant formulations until they become mandatory. The expected future for these coatings will be a shift to high-solids types first and then, according to how R&D budgets allow, water-based coatings afterwards. Industry formulators continue to call for superior water-based resin technology so that coating lifetimes can be extended.

The full 329-page report is available for €3,250 (approx. US$4,400). For more information or to obtain a copy of the report,