Last updateThu, 01 Jul 2021 8am

Colorful palette: Ceresana examines the world market for pigments

Small particles provide orientation and signal effect, but also camouflage and sun protection if required: Pigments are coloring substances that are practically insoluble in water or other application media. They are mainly added to paints and coatings, plastics and building materials. (In contrast, soluble dyes are mainly used for liquids for dyeing). Ceresana has now analyzed the entire market for pigments for the sixth time. In 2019, the Asia-Pacific region accounted for the largest share of consumption. For this part of the world and for Africa, the market researchers expect the highest growth in the coming years. Global demand for pigments is expected to increase to approximately 11.14 million tons by 2027.

Added value and protection for surfaces
The most important sales market for the pigment industry in 2019 was the "paints and coatings" application area, with demand of 4.65 million metric tons. By a considerable margin, the use in plastics was in second place, followed by construction materials, printing inks and paper. Interior and facade paints for the construction industry account for around 2.4 million metric tons. The second largest sub-market is industrial products, in which coatings can perform numerous functions: Protection against environmental influences, decoration, but also, for example, electrical insulation for electrical goods or oxygen barrier for food packaging.
Pigments for plastics and printing inks
In the plastics application area, rigid and flexible packaging accounts for the majority of pigment applications, at around 1.3 million metric tons. 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. In the case of printing inks, the use of pigments in offset printing dominates with a 52% share of the total printing ink market. In second place comes the use of pigments in flexographic printing, which is used especially for flexible packaging, cellulose and nonwovens, labels as well as corrugated board, cardboard boxes and films.
Titanium dioxide and iron oxide are the most important pigment types
According to their chemical composition, inorganic and organic pigments can be distinguished: Organic pigments are based on carbon; inorganic pigments are mostly metal salts. The white, inorganic compound titanium dioxide (TiO2) accounts for about 59% of the total pigment demand worldwide. Titanium dioxide is mainly used for paints and coatings. The second largest sales market is iron oxide pigments, the most widely used inorganic colored pigments. Carbon black comes in third place: Although carbon black is mostly used as a filler for rubber applications, primarily in car tires, it can also serve as a pigment. The other inorganic pigments and all organic pigments, such as azo pigments or polycyclic pigments, together with a total volume of less than 1 million metric tons, account for only a small part of the global pigment market. However, their range of applications is very broad, and for special applications they offer, for example, outstanding color strength, light and weather resistance or other properties.
The study in brief:
Chapter 1 provides a presentation and analysis of the global pigment market - including forecasts up to 2027: For each region of the world, the development of sales, consumption and production is explained. Demand is shown separately for each pigment type:
titanium dioxide
carbon black
Iron oxides
other inorganic pigments and
organic pigments.
In addition, the various fields of application of pigments are being investigated:
Paints and coatings (divided into the sub-markets construction industry, automotive coatings, industry, other paints and coatings)
Plastics (divided into packaging, construction, industry, other plastics applications)
Building materials
printing inks (divided into offset printing, flexographic printing, other printing processes) and
other areas of application.
In Chapter 2, 31 countries are analysed in detail: consumption, export, import, production and turnover. Market data on consumption volumes per country are broken down for the individual pigment types and in terms of application areas.
Chapter 3 provides a useful directory of the 103 most important pigment producers. It is clearly arranged according to contact data, sales, profit, product range, production sites and short profile. The most important manufacturers include Clariant International Ltd, DIC Corporation, Heubach GmbH, Lanxess AG, Merck KGaA, Pidilite Industries Limited, Rio Tinto Group, Umicore SA and Venator Materials Plc.



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