Pigment consumption by the European paint and coatings industry was rated at 1,035,000 tons in 2009, with titanium dioxide use accounting for just over 762,000 tons (approximately 73%). Carbon black is the second-largest single pigment type, with consumption at 77,500 tons, which is just slightly less than the combined use of other inorganic, organic and special effect pigments. Functional pigments represent a market of 116,000 tons.
A number of driving forces continue to shape the market for pigments as far as the coatings industry is concerned. These include the elimination of heavy metals and heavy metal salts on the one hand and the greater ingress of competitively priced high-performance pigments from the Far East on the other. Inorganic pigments, although losing some appeal due to cadmium, chromium or barium content, will in general continue to be the preferred types where heat, light and chemical resistance properties are required. Organic pigments represent an area of modest growth where phthalo blues and greens make up 27% of this market; classic azo reds/lakes and toners 24%; reds and oranges 13%; diarylide yellows 10%; yellows 8%; monoarylides 6%; and all others 12%.
The volume of fillers and extenders consumed by the European coatings industry is placed at almost 1.65 million tons in 2009. The market is dominated by consumption of calcium carbonate at 960,000 tons, followed at a considerable distance by talc and kaolin applications. Tightening legislation, changing formulation practices and increased use in functional applications are all driving innovation in the pigment industry. Most parts of the paint pigments market are growing at between two percent and four percent per annum (the exception being chromium-containing types, which are in gentle decline), with metallics offering the best growth prospects.
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