According to the latest market report published by Future Market Insights titled “Pearlescent Pigment Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2015–2025”, Western Europe is the largest consumer of pearlescent pigment and consumption is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period. China holds the maximum share among all the countries and is the largest exporter of pearlescent pigment worldwide. Consumption of pearlescent pigment globally stood at 116,122 tonnes in 2015. Global sales revenue of pearlescent pigment has been estimated at US$ 2,705.2 Mn in 2015 and is expected to reach above to US$ 4,000 Mn by 2025. This represents an incremental opportunity of US$ 1,356.1 Mn between 2015 and 2025, characterised by increasing traction of synthetic pearlescent pigment coupled with rising demand from automotive paints application segment. Pearlescent pigment are manufactured by coating the laminar substrate with metal oxide. These pigment have unique optical properties and are semi-transparent in nature. Pearlescent pigment can be categorized as follows
Natural pearlescent pigment: substrates used is natural mica
Synthetic pearlescent pigment: substrates used are alumina, silica and synthetic mica
Glass Flake pearlescent pigment: based on borosilicate
Pearlescent pigment find major application in automotive coatings, architectural and decorative paints, powder coatings, plastic industry, paper and printing industry, among others In the report, FMI suggests the adoption of synthetic pearlescent pigment is gaining traction as compared to natural pearlescent pigment, globally. Manufacturing of synthetic pearlescent pigment customized for specific end use necessities is more feasible in comparison to natural pearl pigment, which gives it an advantage over its counterpart. Pigment manufacturers in developed countries, owing to high manufacturing costs and stringent environment control regulations, are shifting their manufacturing bases to developing countries. In December 2015, BASF increased production of high-performance pigment at its plant in Nanjing, China. In April 2011, Sudarshan Chemical Industries Limited invested over US$ 20 Mn to upgrade its pigment manufacturing plant at Roha, India, with an aim to cater to growing demand for pearlescent pigment from the automotive and high-end plastics industries
Major players in the pearlescent pigment market are offering pearlescent pigment that are tailored to specific end-use requirements. In June 2015, BASF SE expanded its pigment portfolio by adding pigment specifically tailored for automotive applications. In March 2012, Geotech International B.V. added two new products in its pigment portfolio, specifically for cosmetics applications.
Industry players are now inclined towards high degree of customisation of pearlescent pigment by targeting niche application in various end-use industries. Pearlescent pigment are gaining importance in niche segments of product categories. For example, in the luxury car segment, OEMs are experimenting with colors. This in turn is expected to drive the growth of the pearlescent pigment market globally. With increasing demand for premium paints for commercial, residential and industrial applications, the market for special effect pigment, such as metallic and pearlescent pigment, are expected to provide ample opportunities in terms of growth prospect. In order to be ahead of its competitors, companies are focusing on customized pearlescent pigment, which are often available in various colors, to meet specific customer requirements.
Stringent regulatory landscape is expected to adversely impact growth of the global pearlescent market during the forecast period. Over the last few years, some small and medium-scale companies have opted out of the pearlescent pigment market due to the high costs involved in safeguarding regulatory compliance. In addition to this, cost of pearlescent pigment is relatively high in developed regions of North America and Western Europe as opposed to China and India in Asia Pacific, where pearlescent pigment is available at a relatively cheaper price, due to low cost of labour and wide availability of raw materials such as natural mica.
Revenue contribution of APEJ to the global pearlescent pigment market has been estimated to account for about 17.2% share, with developing countries of India and China accounting for major share of exports.
APEJ is anticipated to be the most lucrative market for pearlescent pigment, with sales revenue in China and India expected to increase at CAGRs of 6.6% and 6% during the forecast period. Pearlescent pigment consumption in the ASEAN region increased to a small extent yet witnessed a growth rate of 3.7 % outperforming many countries in the Europe and Americas. Sales revenue of pearlescent pigment in the U.S. is expected to increase at a CAGR of 2.8% and is anticipated to retain its dominance in North America throughout the forecast period. China has been estimated to account for the highest revenue share of 64.1% for pearlescent pigment in APEJ in 2015. Wide application of pearlescent pigment in premium and luxury class passenger cars is expected to fuel the demand in China. Moreover, China is expected to be at the forefront, leading the growth of the Asia Pacific pearlescent pigment market during the forecast period. According to the research by FMI, China pearlescent pigment market has witnessed rapid growth in the past couple of decades, and steadily rose to over-capacity of production. This made China the largest exporter of pearlescent pigment globally.
Manufacturers have their key focus on enhancing their production capacity, both by commencing operations in new production facilities, or by adding new lines in existing sites. The key motive is to have a global presence, either physical, or through exports. However, it has been observed that pigment manufacturers in developed countries, due to high manufacturing costs and stringent environment control regulations, are shifting their manufacturing bases to developing countries.
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Some of the key players profiled in the report include Merck KgaA, DIC Corporation, ALTANA AG, Fujian Kuncai Material Technology Co Ltd, CRISTAL, BASF SE, Sudarshan Chemicals Industries Ltd, Shanghai Zhuerna High-Tech Powder Material Co. Ltd, Oxen Special Chemicals Co. Ltd, Huaian Concord Industrial Product Co. Ltd, Zhejiang Ruicheng Effect Pigment Co. Ltd, Sinpearl Pearlescent Pigment Co. Ltd and Kolorjet Chemicals Pvt Ltd, Spectra Colours Ltd, Lansco Colours, Aal Chemicals Ltd.
Merck KgaA, Fujian Kuncai Material Technology Co. Ltd and BASF SE, together, have been estimated to account for almost 1/4th of the market share in 2015.