Highest growth in pigments to come from Asia-Pacific

Global pigment demand increase to 11.14 million tons in 2027 

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Ceresena's 6th Market Study on pigment demand
Ceresena's 6th Market Study on pigment demand

Small particles provide orientation and signal effect as well as camouflage and sun protection, if necessary – pigments are coloring substances that are essentially insoluble in water or other application media. They are mainly added to paints and coatings, plastics, and building materials (soluble dyes, on the other hand, are mostly used for dyeing liquids). Ceresana has now analyzed the entire market for pigments for the sixth time in a study announced on 28 July 2020.

The region Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of global demand in 2019. The market researchers at Ceresana also expect the highest growth over the coming years for this region of the world and Africa. Global demand for pigments is forecast to increase to around 11.14 million tonnes by 2027.

Surface decoration and protection

The most important sales market for the pigment industry in 2019 was the application area paints and coatings with a demand of 4.65 million tonnes. The demand in the category plastics ranked second by a considerable margin, followed by the application areas construction materials, printing inks, and paper. Interior and facade paints for the construction industry account for around 2.4 million tonnes of pigments. The second-largest sub-market is industrial products. Coatings can perform a variety of functions – protection against environmental influences, decoration, and, for example, electrical insulation for electrical goods or an oxygen barrier for food packaging.

Pigments for plastics and printing inks

With around 1.3 million tonnes, rigid and flexible packaging accounts for the majority of pigment applications in the plastics sector. The second-largest area of use is in industrial applications, for example, in components for the automotive industry, electrical engineering and electronics, mechanical engineering, medical technology, and the agricultural industry. With regard to printing inks, the use of pigments in offset printing dominates the total market for printing inks with a 52% share. The second-largest application is the use of pigments in flexographic printing, which is used in particular for flexible packaging, cellulose and non-wovens, labels, corrugated cardboard, cardboard boxes, and films.

Titanium dioxide and iron oxide are the most important pigment types

Inorganic and organic pigments can be distinguished by their chemical composition – organic pigments are based on carbon, whereas inorganic pigments are usually metal salts. The white, inorganic compound titanium dioxide (TiO2) accounts for about 59% of the global demand for pigments. Titanium dioxide is mainly used for paints and coatings. The second-largest sales market is iron oxide pigments, the most widely used inorganic color pigment. Carbon black follows in third place – it is primarily used as a filler for rubber applications, especially in car tires; however, it can also be used as a pigment. The other inorganic pigments and all organic pigments, such as azo pigments or polycyclic pigments, only account for a small part of the global pigment market with a total volume of less than 1 million tonnes. However, their range of applications is very broad – they offer outstanding color strength, light and weather resistance, or other properties for special applications.

Pigment manufacturers

The study provides useful company profiles of the 103 most important pigment manufacturers. It is structured according to contact details, revenues, profit, product portfolio, production facilities, and profile summary. The most important manufacturers include, for example, Clariant International Ltd., DIC Corporation, Heubach GmbH, Lanxess AG, Merck KGaA, Pidilite Industries Limited, Rio Tinto Group, Umicore SA, and Venator Materials Plc.

Based in Koblenz, Germany, Ceresana is specialized in studying the chemicals, plastics, packaging, and industrial goods segments. www.ceresana.com/en/market-studies/chemicals/pigments/

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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