The coating solvents market will record a modest growth, with global sales estimated at over 11,500 ‘000 units in 2018, according to a new report of Fact.MR. Tier 1 players are expected to hold nearly 50% share of the coating solvents market. Key expansion strategies of these coating solvents manufacturers include partnerships and collaborations with emerging players to leverage their innovative capabilities and enhance regional market footprint.
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Petrochemicals have traditionally reigned supreme as most-effective source for production of coating solvents, with sales in 2018 pegged at over 15,000 ‘000 units. However, bio-based coating solvents are expected to record a 1.5X volume growth than petrochemical-based variants in 2018, underpinned majorly by emphasis on environment protection and preference for low-risk applications.
However, worldwide sales of bio-based coating solvents currently account for just over 10% share of the market. In the EU alone, bio-based solvents hold less than 13% of overall coating solvents sales (630,000 tons/5 million tons). However, this niche coating solvents category is expected to gain significant traction in the near future, while permeating key applications such as architectural coatings and industrial equipment coatings.
“As consumers become more environment-conscious, sustainable products & solutions continue to encroach on public as well as private perceptions. Increasing interest in the use of renewable raw materials is a palpable trend witnessed across several industries, and paints & coatings industry is no exception. This has further led the shift from petrochemical-based coating solvents to bio-based coating solvents,” says a lead analyst at Fact.MR.
Xylene & Toluene and Alcohols – Top-Seller Variants of Coating Solvents
With evolving requirements of the end-users coating solvents manufacturers have introduced various products, ranging from xylene and toluene to alcohols. These two top-seller variants of coating solvents will collectively account for approximately 75% volume share. Gains are also expected from acetone, which is foreseen to record a relatively faster volume growth in 2018 and beyond.
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Formulators are continuously putting efforts for the development of coating solvents with the aid of new and improved polymers. These developments are primarily aimed at utilization of suitable solvent combinations, however manufacturer efforts are being tugged by environmental regulations. Key regulations, such as the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs) of EPA, Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) have significantly confined prospects of the coating solvents, particular those formulated using petrochemicals.
APEJ to Lead with Over 30% Volume Share than Other Regional Markets
Fact.MR report opines that Asia-Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) is expected to spearhead the coating solvents market, accounting for over 30% volume share than all the other regional markets assessed in the report. Majority of APEJ’s coating solvents market is expected to be concentrated in China, with global sales estimated to exceed 2,300 units in 2018. Majority of the demand is driven by end-use industries who focus on decreasing the number of recoats, and improve lifespan of their structures and products.
However, recent initiative by Chinese cities to phase out the solvent-based coatings is expected to hamper future prospects of the coating solvents market in APEJ as a consequence. Authorities in Chinese cities have mandated the industries to substitute the solvent-based coatings with water-based alternatives. Key cities that have taken this step include, Taizhou, Zhongshan, Nanjing, Tianjin, and Shanghai.
Shanghai Housing and Urban Development Management Commission has announced prohibition of coating solvents for woodware and exterior walls in the construction industry. In addition, Nanjing government has ordered over 800 vehicle maintenance enterprises for upgrading their solvent-based coatings to eco-friendly alternatives such as water-borne and bio-based variants.
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