The continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth has been averaging 7.7 percent over the past two years and analysts predict the rate will remain the same through 2019 – more than double the growth in many advanced global economies. This growth is a catalyst for increased consumption trends of key end use products such as automobiles, furniture, metal-made items that rely on powder coatings for quality refinishing and durability.
In addition, Africa’s population continues to rise despite that of the rest of the world slowing down with countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt topping the region’s list of most populated with 183 million, 98 million and 84 million people respectively. Although nearly 42 percent of Africa’s current population of 1.2 billion people is comprised of youth below 15 years, consumption levels have continued to rise in the recent past creating new investment opportunities for powder coating manufacturers and suppliers keen on meeting demand especially for eco-friendly coatings.
Global market consultancy Deloitte estimated the continent’s consumption rate could contribute as much as $1.1 billion to Africa’s GDP if the rate is aligned with an eight percent economic growth.
The consultancy said Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda are some of the countries where consumer demand is expected to contribute greatly to the respective GDP growth.
Current and future projected consumption levels, a key driver for powder coatings use, are on the back of a rising middle class in Africa. It is estimated the group’s numbers grew to 375 million in 2013, an equivalent of 34 percent of the region’s total population. This group is expected to increase to 500 million people by 2030 hence sustaining or even fueling high consumption levels.
Furthermore, many of the 54 countries in Africa are heeding the international call for elimination of environment polluting products and investing more on those that are eco-friendly as the world moves towards a less emitting economic regime. And some of the powder coatings manufacturers are capitalizing on the demand for eco-friendly to improve the market reach and sales.
For example, global developer, manufacturer and supplier of liquid and powder coatings, Axalta Coating Systems, which recently launched one of its refinish brands, Nason Finishes, in South Africa, said powder coatings products “are often an environmentally responsible, lower cost alternative to liquid coatings.”
Axalta Coating Systems is known for its Alesta, Nap-Gard, Abcite and Plascoat powder brands.
Other top global coatings industry players that have their powder coatings brands supplied in the African market are Kansai Paints, Arkema SA, DowDuPont, KZN Resins, Synresins Limited, AkzoNobel, PPG Industries, Axalta Coatings Sytems Somar Corporation, Berger Paints, Sherwin-Williams Company among other smaller and medium suppliers in this market.
AkzoNobel Coatings International, which picked Nairobi-based Crown Paints East Africa to distribute its Sadolin paints brand in Uganda in the last quarter of 2017, said the African powder coatings market has been growing in terms of volumes and value.
The Dutch firm said in the first quarter of 2018 its powder coatings revenues increased by a modest one percent “due to volume growth and positive price.”
Not only did the company’s powder coatings segment show an upward shift but also “overall growth was stronger in Eastern Europe and Africa,” the company noted.
With Africa’s manufacturing segment expected to improve in the short and medium term on the back of better infrastructure, political stability, governance effectiveness, rule of law and conducive regulatory framework, demand for both thermoset and thermoplastic coatings is expected to rise with analysts predicting the largest share of the increase will come from thermoplastic powder coating type.
A report by Berkshire Hathaway Company’s Business Wire predicts market compound growth for thermoset and thermoplastic powders of 5.5 percent between 2018 and 2023. The thermoplastic is expected to dominate the African powder coatings market as it did in 2017 when its share rose to 90 percent according to the report ‘Africa Thermosetting and Thermoplastics Market Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2018 – 2023).’
The report added that demand for thermoplastics “is significantly increasing owing to their better characteristics, such as lightweight and durability.”
Africa’s ship building industry, especially in South Africa, will drive growth in consumption of thermoplastics which together with “polyethylene terephthalate, are used at various stages of shipbuilding from the external body of the ship to the interior components” according to the report.
“These plastics are resistant to the damage caused by many chemicals and water, which make them attractive to the ship and ship component manufacturers,” it said, adding that these properties make thermoplastics in the form of sheets the most preferred material for flooring in ships, instead of wood.
The powder coating is electrostatically sprayed with a specialized spray gun before it is cured so as to achieve the uniform, high-quality finish that is desired in end-use products such as architectural, furniture applications, automotive and transportation, household appliances, consumer goods, medical and healthcare equipment.
Analysts predict Africa will be the main contributor to the growth of the Middle East & Africa region’s powder coatings markets because of the competitive nature the industry has assumed in big markets such as China.
“Middle East/Africa will be fueled by African countries,” per Global Market Insights in early 2017.
“As China is on verge of losing its competitive edge because of strong increase in labor wages, manufacturers are keen on shifting their production bases to low cost Asian and African countries leading to increased demand for products and services like powder coatings,” said the market researcher and strategy consultancy firm in a previous analysis that estimated the global powder coating market to expand to $17 billion by 2024.
Elsewhere, Africa’s fast-growing oil and gas industry is expected to use large amounts of powder products for the protection of drilling, production and transportation systems against corrosion and severe extreme temperatures.