Pigments – Insights
Pigments are organic or inorganic colored compounds commonly used as coloring agents. Some of the properties of pigments are good weather and light fastness, baking stability, tinting strength, solvent resistance, easily dispersible, and uniqueness and consistency in color. These pigments are important components in printing inks, plastics, paints and coatings, ceramics and glass, synthetic fibers, building materials, personal care products, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic products.
Increasing use of pigments in paints and coatings, plastics, printing inks, and other applications is driving growth of the global pigments market. Development of high performance pigments with improved fastness, and coloristic and dispersion properties is driving use of pigments in various applications such as non-impact printing, outdoor signage, and packaging. The use of pigments for non–coloring applications such as iron oxide pigments in lithium-ion batteries for cathode generation is also fueling growth of the pigments market.
Stringent regulations by various governments such as Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) by the European Union on the use of harmful pigments and volatile raw material prices are major restraints to growth of the global pigments market.
Inorganic pigments was the dominant segment in 2016 due to various properties of inorganic pigments such as high opacity, antistatic, flame retardant, UV stabilization, anti-block, and heat stabilization and it is also lower in cost. Titanium dioxide is the largest revenue contributor among inorganic pigments towards the global pigments market, owing to its use as white extender to lower cost or improve properties. Carbon black pigment is commonly used to give black color in printing inks, while iron oxide earth pigments can yield siennas, ochres, and umbers, which are used in various industries such as construction. Organic pigments is the fastest growing segment owing to increasing demand for environment friendly pigments and disadvantages of inorganic pigments such as low tinting strength and less bright color as compared to organic pigments. Increasing demand for organic pigments in applications such as optical data storage, photo-reprographics, and opto-electronic display is also propelling growth of organic pigments segment.
Paints and coatings are widely used for various applications such as corrosion resistance, scratching resistance, and enhancing aesthetic appeal. Increasing demand for pigments from construction, automotive, marine, aerospace, packaging, and other industries coupled with developments in technologies such as nano-coatings technology is driving growth of the pigment market. For instance, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturer (OICA), the total registration or sales of new vehicles was 89,684,608 in 2015 and 93,856,388 in 2016. This growth in the automotive industry is fueling demand for pigments for paints and coatings.
Asia Pacific is the largest region is the market with a share of 41.06% in 2016 and is expected to retain its dominance in the market over the forecast period. This is attributed to growing paints and coatings, plastics, automotive, and construction industries in the region. According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry automobiles component market is estimated to reach US$ 115 billion by 2020 -2021. This is expected to drive growth of the pigments market in India.
North America was estimated to be the second largest market in 2016 with high demand for pigments from the U.S. market in this region. Increasing demand for pigments from construction, automotive, textile and plastic, industries as colorants and coatings is propelling growth of the market in this region. According to European Automobiles Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the motor production in 2015 was 18,013 in thousand units and increased to 18,299 in thousand units in 2016. Thus, this increase in motor production has resulted in increased demand for paints and coatings thereby increasing the pigments. Demand for environment friendly pigments owing to stringent regulations by regulatory bodies such as US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the use of harmful pigments in this region is another factor expected to drive growth of the market.
Figure 1. Global Pigments Market Share, by Region, 2016
Some of the major players operating in the pigments market are BASF SE, Cabot Corporation, Clariant International Ltd., DIC Corporation, ECKART GmbH, Ferro Corporation, Heubach GmbH, Huntsman Corporation, Lanxess AG, and The Shepherd Color Company.
The pigments market is highly competitive and the market players are adopting various strategies such as merger and acquisitions, partnerships, innovative product development, and product launches to sustain their position. Some recently launched products in the pigments market are HOMBITAN AFDC 101 by Huntsman Corporation in April 2017, Telasperse PVC by Clariant International Ltd. in October 2017, Bayferrox New Red pigments by Lanxess in November 2017 and Sunbrite Yellow 74, Perrindo Maroon 179 and Quindo Magenta 202 by Sun Chemical in April 2017. Various market players are also expanding their pigment production capacities owing to increasing demand for pigments. For instance, In February 2017, Heubach GmbH announced expansion of its U.S. anticorrosive plant near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by 4,000 tons.
Pigment is a chemical compound that reflects certain wavelengths of visible light. Organic and inorganic pigments are insoluble and are used in inks, paints, plastics, cosmetics, foods, fabrics, and other materials. Specialty pigments are widely used to impart metallic finishes for car bodies.
Increasing preference towards environment-friendly products and growing demand for high performance pigments owing to its wide application in plastics, coatings, and cosmetics products, is projected to fuel growth of the pigments market. Furthermore, growing paints and coating industry is expected to propel the market growth.
Asia Pacific is expected to retain its dominance in the pigments market over the forecast period. This is mainly attributed to growing automotive and construction industries along with growing infrastructure development. For instance, according to International Trade Association, Department of Commerce, USA, the construction industry in China was valued at US$717.7 billion in 2016 and is estimated to reach US$1042.17 billion by 2021. Europe is expected to exhibit significant growth in the global pigments market. Pigment manufacturers are developing new products and software such as color measurement and analysis software to meet increasing demand for colors for various applications. In 2016, BASF SE launched Paliotol organic pigment, for toys and food packaging, to cater to increasing demand from the plastic industry. This product has properties such as high color efficiency and high heat stability.
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