Global demand for paint and coatings is forecast to rise 5.4 percent per year to 45.6 million metric tons in 2015, valued at $142 billion, according to Freedonia Group's report, "World Paint & Coatings." Advances will be driven by a strong acceleration in world building construction spending, particularly residential construction, which is expected to rebound in North America and Western Europe.
Healthy growth in global manufacturing activity will also fuel increased demand for coatings used in the production of motor vehicles and other durable goods, as well as industrial maintenance applications. Solvent-based paint and coatings will continue to see their share of the market decline in both developed and developing markets, as ongoing efforts to reduce the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are favoring alternative formulations.
The Asia Pacific region will remain the leading consumer of paints and coatings through 2015, and will also see the most rapid gains. Regional demand will be fueled by China and India, the two largest markets in Asia and two of the fastest-growing coatings markets in the world.
Above-average gains are also forecast for North America, rebounding strongly from the declining demand of the 2005-2010 period. Coatings demand in the region will benefit from a greatly improved outlook for building construction and manufacturing activity in the United States.
While paint and coatings demand in Western Europe will see a similar recovery from recent declines, the region will remain the world's slowest-growing market. Among the other areas of the world, best opportunities are expected in the Africa/Mideast region, where paint demand per capita is the lowest in the world.
Architectural markets will continue to account for a majority of global paint and coatings demand in 2015. Demand for architectural paint will be fueled by healthy growth in residential construction spending, particularly in the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Coatings demand in manufacturing applications will benefit from a pickup in world motor vehicle production, as well as an improvement in building construction activity, which will drive demand for furniture coatings. Maintenance and specialty coatings markets will see moderately slower gains, restrained by a downturn in marine applications, as well as a more negative outlook for vehicle refinish coatings in the developed countries of the world.
Regulatory and environmental issues are driving continued reformulation efforts in the paint and coatings industry. As paintmakers increasingly seek to reduce the VOC content of their products, water-based coatings, powder coatings and other high-solids formulations will gain market share at the expense of solvent-based coatings. However, developing countries with little or no VOC regulation will see a slower trend toward water-based coatings than elsewhere in the world. Additionally, many markets will continue to be dominated by solvent-based formulations for the foreseeable future, including marine coatings, automotive refinishes and corrosion protection coatings.