The first commercial production of paint in Australia dates back to the 1850s. Over the past century, the Paint and Coatings Manufacturing industry in Australia recorded strong growth in line with Australia's industrial development, before entering a slower growth phase as the industry matured. Today, it remains a relatively important component of Australia's broader chemical segment. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Kosta Lev, “one of the defining characteristics of the industry is the dominant position held by a few major players with a strong stable of national and global brand names within different price points and product segments”. These major players operate on a vertically integrated basis so that competition occurs across the supply chain rather than just at the manufacturing level. Industry revenue is expected to have declined by an annualised 0.2%, to $3.63 billion over the five years through 2012-13. This poor performance reflects the slowdown in the general economy and the associated implications for consumer and business confidence levels. It also reflects a cyclical downturn in the housing market and the structural decline of the domestic Printing and Motor Vehicle Manufacturing industries.
Over 2012-13, the Paint and Coatings Manufacturing industry in Australia is expected to post modest growth of 1.0% as it continues to slowly regain some of the ground lost in 2008-09 and 2009-10 in view of higher housing investment levels (including renovations). “Consistent with the industry's mature status, growth is forecast to be modest over the next five years”, Adds Lev. This growth is considerably more positive than that of the past five years and reflects a general improving global economy and stabilising commodity prices Nanotechnology is forecast to spread through the industry as it is increasingly used to create new properties of coatings that enhance environmental protection and contribute to sustainability.
Environmental considerations as a new growth driver will help offset the impact of continued structural change within other mature or declining industries such as the local printing and automotive industries. While aggregate concentration for the Australian paint industries is considered high, it is slightly lower at the manufacturing level due to distinctive product and market segments. At this level, IBISWorld estimates that the industry has a medium level of market share concentration. Reflecting the characteristics of the worldwide industry, the Australian Paint and Coatings industry is dominated by the local subsidiaries of the top global players. The largest four players are Duluxgroup, PPG Industries, Valspar Paint and Akzo Nobel Coatings.