From the times when paint products were being developed to meet the new performance requirements, high performance additives have played an important role with their own attributes. Modern paint technology is heavily dependent on high performance additives due to their ability to meet the wide spectrum of paint performance requirements of current times.
The global paints market is worth $ 121 billion (2012); with total production being 38 million metric tonnes (MT). Globally, by volume, the split is approximately 50% architectural paints and the remaining 50% performance coatings. The APAC region contributes 44% paints and coatings market. India constitutes 15% and China 57% by volume of APAC market. In the APAC, water based (architectural paints) constitutes 65% by volume. The Indian paint industry is worth $ 5.6 billion with the volume of 2.28 million MT per annum.
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The Indian decorative paints segment constitutes 72% by volume and 67% by value. Whereas the Indian water based (latex/architectural paints) constitute 60-65% by volume of the decorative paints. The per capita consumption of paint in India is 2.40 kg. The highest per capita consumption is 4 kg in Kerala and is largely dominated by latex based architectural paints and coatings. The growth rate of the Indian paint industry is 1.5 to 2 times the GDP. There are over 1500 architectural paint producers in India. The organised sector, led by Asian Paints, AkzoNobel, Berger Paints and Kansai Nerolac Paints, contributes 62% market share of architectural paints.
Rising demand for novelty
As the paint and coatings industry continues to fall under pressure by environmental regulations, manufacturers of coatings and paints are endlessly reformulating their products. As a result, demand for novel additives continues to increase. The rapid economic growth in most of the emerging countries in the recent years resulted in rampant architectural construction and industrial activity, which created significant demand for paints and additives. This in turn, heavily increased the demand for paint additives. The Asia Pacific region is expected to account for more than 40% of the global demand for paint additives in 2016.
Already growing faster than the major developed countries (though currently slowed down a bit) China has emerged as the second largest market (after the US) in the global paint additives market. India is also emerging as a strong market.
Indian market dynamics
During last 5-7 years, it has been observed that high quality exterior paint segment has conceptually grown with very high growth rate of 25% compared to 10-12% of other paints and coatings. In addition, the premium paints and novel finishes segments have also grown at a faster rate 15 -20%. And, this evolution has forced the use of high performance additives.
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“We sell colour!” has given boost to develop highly efficient colourants and demand of aesthetically innovative paints. This trend has thrilled the end users of architectural paints giving them vast choice of ideation and imagination. Additionally, ‘green concept’ awareness has gradually started to gain prominence in India and proactive approach of leading paint producers serving the purpose. This is a progressive step towards the future with green technologies using green high performance additives to make green paint products.
Rheology profile is an integral part of any paint; this is a value which is realised by the end users instantly. It also influences the feeling of desired flow and finish of architectural latex based paints. In this context, roller application is a new and very fast growing change in application technique shifting from brush application and it requires very high performance rheological additives to perform. Rheological additives also help to increase the ratio of paint cost vs paint application cost.
The huge market development of exterior paints has led to work for outdoor performance such as anti-dirt pick up, water repellence and long durability. These properties are attributed with high performance additives. Durability and paint film performance such as stain resistance, scrub resistance and various level of sheen can be achieved by new generation of additives over conventional systems. The demand of longer protection from fungal and algae attacks of latex-based architectural paints has become extremely important to contribute aesthetics and durability.
Indian market competitiveness
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One of the most significant aspects about high performance additives is that it helps to build up intellectual capital in the industry by bringing in new technologies and innovations. It further develops the modern paint formulators.
Indian latex-based architectural paints are competing and raising their own standards year on year with the help of competition among high performance additives suppliers. The platform is set from demand side as well as supply side for co-creation that has started benefiting by leveraging higher value for all paints and coatings and additives market stake holders.
Additives help to open new niche markets by creating values enhancing competitive environment which is imperative for end users and industry. Go-to-market strategies will increase the importance of high performance additives. Improving economic fundamentals are expected to enhance the pace of demand growth prospects. As the additives technologies are constantly evolving, environmental regulations are continuing to fuel demand from formulators for novel additives from their supplier.
The author is the General Manager Sales, India Sub-Continent, Performance Additives, Functional Chemicals at AkzoNobel India