2009 started off grimly for the paint and coatings market but it slowly started to pick up pace towards the end of the year. Moving into 2010, many industry players were cautious but nevertheless hopeful that the year would bring about the recovery of the industry back to more acceptable levels.
The APAC paint and coatings market for 2010 is estimated to be approximately USD 48 Billion with a market size of 15 million MT (metric tonnes) with a growth rate of 8 to 11 percent. This was aided mainly by the strong driving forces of China and India as well as developing growth from key Asean countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. Industry players are optimistic on seeing double digit growth once again in 2011.
According to Frost & Sullivan's Program Manager of Chemicals, Material and Food Practice Sheila Senathirajah, the paint and coatings industry is heavily reliant on the end use industries it serves.
"Asia being a developing industrial nation has many key growth sectors that aid the growth of the paint and coatings market. Some of the key industrial sectors monitored are construction, steel, marine, automotive and furniture," she adds.
Currently, China is witnessing high growth in its steel and furniture industries while India is similarly experiencing positive growth in its construction and steel industries. ASEAN countries are witnessing growth in construction, marine, automotive and furniture industries.
Sheila continues, "As a result of this, we can expect to see positive growth coming from the related coating segments such as decorative, industrial wood, marine, automotive and protective coatings."
2011 will also see higher domestic growth in Asian countries with development on the way, spurring the growth of domestic or local players. More local players are expected to enter the industrial coatings segment especially due to higher participation with large MNC's and technology transfer that has greatly contributed to the local player's technology expertise.
In terms of industry specifics, the coming year will see the industry players creating a competitive edge by introducing new innovative products in the market with enhanced "sustainability" features. Many have already set in place strategies to recapture market share after a 2 year lull period. Green based technology will see high growth; particularly for powder and water based type coatings.
The term 'Green coatings' is not a new term within the industry but over the last couple of years there has been a slow uptake of these kinds of coatings due to a significant lack of demand from end use industry users. Whilst coating manufacturers are pushing these products into the mainstream, the lack of awareness and incentives and higher cost to use these types of coatings within the local consumers have been a barrier to be overcome.
"Nonetheless, we can now certainly see shifts in mindsets moving forward as local governments are coming on board to raise the level of commitment and push for green technology. For example, in early 2010, the Malaysian government launched a RM1.5 billion 'green technology fund scheme' plus providing tax incentives for green certified buildings," says Sheila.
She concludes, "Moving forward we expect to see growth of 'green coatings' in this region especially in relation to energy conservation, low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions and a significant shift from solvent to water based paints."
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