By Tim Wright
At CHINACOT 2009 conversations are sure to revolve around the slowdown of the world economy, and its impact on China’s coatings industry in particular. Nonetheless, the exhibitors we spoke with are all optimistic about future growth rates returning to pre-recession levels and all are excited to showcase their new technology to potential customers.
Discussing the economy, Kevin Wu, commercial director for Celanese Emulsion Polymers, Asia, said China’s architectural paint industry is recovering nicely from the recession. “Unlike many industries which rely on goods to export out of China, the architectural paint industry relies on our internal economy, which is continuing to grow, albeit at a slightly slower pace than recent years,” he said. “Celanese Emulsion Polymers is continuing to grow along with the paint market across Asia and is adding local personnel in our sales, marketing and technical teams.”
China is still at a good growth stage of its development, albeit the global economy and increased competition has reduced the number of players in a difficult year, according to Joon Choo, vice president, Shamrock Technologies. “There is still good development opportunity in specific sectors,” he said. “Certainly most have felt the downturn in the first half of the year on a global basis. Volumes are indeed down, as are prices, given the static inventories in first and second quarters of the year. However, we have seen modest recovery from the third quarter onwards, and are cautiously optimistic about continued recovery without the double dip. Export oriented business has been impacted severely, but the domestic consumption has helped to buffer the loss.”
Munzing’s Mathew Chen said his company began to witness recovery from the recession during last year’s fourth quarter but is still feeling the negative impact of lower growth rates. “The global recession has impacted a lot of business in China because the drastic slow down in export sales,” he said. “However, China still offers great growth prospects and will be faster to recover from the recession than other nations. We predict at least 20% growth in 2010.”
Aside from the recession’s impact on China’s economy and its coatings industry in particular, the largest trend in the paint and coatings industry is the growing consumer enthusiasm for environmentally friendly paints. “In recent years we have seen the eco-trend continue to accelerate and we are working with many companies to help them develop low odor, low VOC paints to meet this need as well as meeting tight VOC requirements,” said Mr. Wu.
Mr. Choo added that “the continued pressure to develop and adopt green technologies and environmental friendly formulations is helping to keep development efforts alive.”
Mr. Chen concurred that the continued development of environmentally friendly products will be the “major trend impacting the future of China’s paint and coatings industry, especially as China’s local paint and coating industry has become more focused on the environment’s protection.”
“As a result of environmental issues, VOC regulations and the trend toward healthier products, the quality of coatings being developed for the Chinese market is progressing rapidly based on Western technology,” said Jiro Suezawa, deputy director, chemicals division and general manager, intermediates and specialty chemicals, Kyowa Hakko.
At CHINACOAT 2009 Kyowa Hakko will feature its functional monomers, diacetone acrylamide and adipic dihydrazide, all of which are used in waterborne resins to create products that will crosslink at ambient temperature. In addition, latex resins incorporating the firm’s monomers used to create dried films with improved solvent and block resistance will be highlighted. Lastly, synthetic branched fatty acids used in short oil alkyds to improve color and film hardness compared to natural linear acids will also be featured at Kyowa Hakko’s booth E3D41-50.
Celanese Emulsion Polymers will feature its EcoVAE line of emulsions designed for eco-friendly paints. These products each meet the ‘EcoVAE criteria checklist’ for an emulsion with a vinyl acetate/ethylene base, is APE-free, has a low residual monomer level and can be formulated into low VOC coatings. Stop by Celanese’s booth E2E21 to learn more.
Shamrock is one company that has always been at the forefront of recycling technologies when it comes to specialty additives. “Our focus this year will be the products that are the fruit of continued efforts to improve further our core technologies in fluoropolymer reprocessing for reuse,” said Mr. Choo. Specifically, Shamrock will highlight the MicroFLON series, which is based on 100% recycled polymer.
Munzing will launch new technology at CHINACOAT 2009 including a product range for white and black pigment grinding for multi-systems based specifically on the needs and characteristics expressed by its customers in China and the greater Asia Pacific region.
BASF will be showcasing a wide range of new products and customer-orientated solutions at the CHINACOAT 2009 in Shanghai, BASF product highlights at CHINACOT 2009 include Lumina Royal Blue, a high chromaticity generation of effect pigments based on natural mica whose targeted market segment is automotive coatings, consumer electronics, sporting goods and print packaging; BASF will also introduce an inorganic orange—Sicopal Orange L 2430; Glacier Frost White effect pigments will also be launched at CHINACOAT and represent the newest generation of synthetic mica flakes coated with titanium dioxide.