Ceresana Research forecasts that the global pigment market will earn revenues of more than US$45 billion in 2018. In 2010, the Asia Pacific region was the largest market area, generating approximately 45 percent of the global demand for pigments. This was followed by North America and Western Europe.
Pigments are mainly used in well established industries, such as paint and varnish manufacturing and plastics production. Demand in individual countries follows the overall economic development. The construction industry, in particular, has a strong impact on the demand for pigments. Apart from coloring construction materials such as concrete, pigments are widely used in plastic products, paints and varnishes.
Ceresana Research expects Asia Pacific will continue to significantly influence market dynamics over the next years. Rapidly developing emerging markets have the greatest growth potential, above all China and India. Moreover, South America and the Middle East register above-average growth rates of 3.6 percent to 4.4 percent. Carbon Black pigments, which are used in a number of plastics, represent a strong growth market worldwide. Many emerging countries still have a low per-capita consumption of plastics, which will, however, increase considerably over the mid-term.
The demand for different types of pigments in individual regions shows different developments. While the use of iron oxides and organic pigments records the highest growth in North America and Western Europe, other regions also see their demand for titanium dioxide and carbon black increasing significantly. Ceresana expects that titanium dioxide will have a share of more than 60 percent of the global pigment market. Iron oxides are used worldwide for construction materials, paints and varnishes, but are also gaining importance for other products. For example, markets such as the food and cosmetics industry will see considerably higher growth of 3.5 percent annually.
Product innovations primarily aim at organic, effect and special pigments. The focus is on higher color intensity, color variety and additional properties, such as self-cleaning or antibacterial characteristics, or paints that reflect infrared light and offer insulating properties. Organic pigments, whose market share in volume is small, register above-average growth rates, as they benefit from rising demand from producers of printing inks, polymers and textiles.