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Current and Future Trends Within the Asia Pacific Coatings Market

 August 08, 2014
The Asia Pacific region is perhaps one of the most diverse areas on our planet.  Not only is it comprised of numerous dissimilar countries but the myriad of cultures, language, religion and politics is mind boggling.  There is also the sheer size of the region.  The Asia Pacific region, as defined in this article, is an immense region, covering some 2.8 billion hectares of land area, or approximately 22 percent of the total global land area. Stretching from the borders of China-Mongolia with the NIS to the north to the southern tip of Australia and New Zealand to the south, this region covers the spectrum of conditions from northern temperate and boreal through the range of tropical and subtropical zones and back to temperate. From the high plateaus and mountains of Pakistan to the west and extending to the island countries of North Asia and the South Pacific, the Asia Pacific region incorporates conditions of moist tropical to arid and semi-arid desert. As would be expected by this huge geography, the human and social dimensions of the Asia Pacific region are equally diverse.                                                                        
It’s fairly safe to assume that the Asia Pacific region presents an enormous challenge to the coating industry since this is a region where “one size” definitely doesn’t fit all.  Depending on the segment, performance requirements by country differ significantly as does how the coating is actually applied.  In the Southern part of the region (i.e. Australia/New Zealand) the architectural market demands a gloss coating.  In addition, in the ANZ market there is a strong DIY (Do It Yourself) market whereas in most other countries in the region it’s a contractor applied market.
The Asia Pacific region is home to about 62 percent of the total global population (i.e., approximately 4.4 billion). China and India account for more than half of this regions total population.  India is projected to pass China in population size in about 15 years, becoming the world’s most populous country with about 1.5 billion people.                          
The region represents the single largest growth opportunity for the coatings industry.  In 2001 the region represented 27 percent of the global coating market compared to 33 percnt for the Americas and 36 percent for Europe.  In 2010 the region represented 40 percent of the coatings market while the Americas share declined to 26 percent and Europe declined to 28 percent.  This trend is expected to continue.  Depending on how you define the composition of the region, the total Asia Pacific region coating market is estimated to be valued at over $62 billion with an annual growth rate estimated at 12-15 percent.     
The charts on this page describe the coating market in Asia Pacific both by segment and by country.Clearly, the largest revenue segment is architectural and the largest revenue coating market resides inside of China. Of course, as you might expect, actual segments vary in size and revenue depending on the country.  Paint consumption in China in 2013 was three times that of 2003 and the Indian paint volume was about two and one-half times greater. Many of the smaller coating consumers in the region have also undergone significant growth. In contrast, coating consumption in Japan has declined and the South Korean volume is about the same. 
China accounts for 55 percent of the region’s consumption in volume and 65 percent of the value. India is now the second-largest consumer in tons, with a 13 percent share, and is third in value, with 6 percent. Japan is second in value, comprising 11 percent of the total, but is expected to be displaced by India within the next two years. Korea is the fourth-largest consumer in both volume and value. These four countries took 84 percent of the region’s tons and 85 percent of the value. Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam each consumes about 2-3 percent of the regional volume and are considered expanding markets. Australia, Taiwan and Singapore are mature outlets for coatings. Nippon Paint (including Nipsea JVs), AkzoNobel, Kansai Paint, PPG and Asian Paints are the five largest suppliers of coatings in the Asia-Pacific region, and together they capture 28 percent of the coating sales in 2013. AkzoNobel and Nippon Paint are the leading architectural paint suppliers, with Asian Paints third. Dulux (Australia), Kansai Paint, Valspar and Berger Paint (India) are in the next tier of architectural paint suppliers. Kansai Paint and Nippon Paint are the largest industrial paint suppliers, each with about an 8 percent share. AkzoNobel and PPG are next in size and are followed by Jotun and KCC (Korea). 
The changes that are happening in this market somewhat mirror the history of coatings in other parts of the globe.  In essentially all markets the water-based coatings are gaining significant market share (especially in the architectural segments).  In 2013 approximately 70 percent of the architectural market was comprised of water-based coating. Water-based growth in the industrial segments has been slow but it is happening. Today about 10 percent of the industrial segment is water-based while 14 percent is powder.  Clearly, solvent-based coatings are the largest group of products in the industrial market but that is changing driven by increasing environmental concerns, especially in heavily populated countries like China and India.
There are numerous drivers in place that will support the growth expectations for Asia Pacific.  Perhaps the largest of which is infrastructure investment.Approximately 40 percent of future global infrastructure investment is slated for the Asia Pacific region.  That investment strategy will provide the basis for an enormous amount of high value coatings. 
Coating Trends For Asia Pacific 
Historically, Asia Pacific has been a low cost, low performance expectation market, mostly served by solvent-based systems (Japan, Australia and New Zealand being the exception). However, with the emergence of the region’s primary countries (i.e., China, India, etc.) as a major participant in the global marketplace major changes have occurred. An area of potential growth that cuts across all coating segments in Asia Pacific involves “green coatings” (i.e. environment friendly systems). The green coatings manufacturing companies and research institutions are infusing high investment for the future advancements and technology of environment friendly and nonhazardous coatings. These investments are to create coatings with similar performance as compared to conventional VOC contained coatings. 
Asia Pacific is the largest region followed by North Americ and Europe. Countries such as China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and others are growing markets for green coatings. Major players in the green coatings industry include the same players that participate in conventional systems (i.e. AkzoNobel, PPG Industries, Henkel, Sherwin-Williams, Axalta, Valspar, BASF, Kansai and others).

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