Challenges ahead for 2017
This year, 20 companies took part in European Coatings Journal’s annual survey, which takes place at the beginning of each year. They were able to rate the past twelve months on a scale from 1 (very good) to 6 (very poor). The overall result is between “good” and “satisfying” – with an average of 2.4 it is slightly closer to “good”. Last year’s rating was an average of 2.3. Divided by into the two major segments, decorative and industrial coatings, the rating is pretty much the same: decorative coatings (2.4) and industrial coatings (2.35).
Even though market conditions in many segments and regions remained challenging for paint and coatings producers, most of the surveyed managers could draw a positive conclusion on the question how their business performed in 2016.
Not so great expectations
Less optimistic are the expectations for this year. As the previous years, 2017 is once again labelled as a year of uncertainty. The political and economic instability in many regions around the globe are contributing to a gloomy outlook. Topics, such as the actual impact of BREXIT, the continuing difficult situation in countries like Russia and legislative burdens will keep the industry busy and remain a challenge. And, a topic that has been off the shelves for a while now is expected to have a comeback: increasing raw material prices. Something that will hit all producers. A highly unwanted development in times when competition is getting fierce and business opportunities scarce. In the January issue of the European Coatings Journal you can read the statements by twenty decision makers who share their opinions on the past year and their outlook on what is to come in 2017.