Market Report: Driving growth in powder

Electric vehicles, hyperdurability and low-temperature cure technology offer sustainable growth for powder coatings.What is the situation in the powder coatings market?

The new study provides an effective and facile way to ameliorate the function of the flow additive and enhance the properties of powder coating films.  Image source: Chris Tefme - (symbol image).

The global powder coatings market is estimated to be nearly EUR 11 billion in 2021 with a CAGR of approx. 6.4 % versus 2019 according to Kevin Biller, President at Chem Quest Powder Coating Research. Asia Pacific has the largest market share at 58.9 % with Europe and North America holding a similar share of 19.1 % and 18 % respectively.

A challenging period has meant a supply chain that is struggling to meet demand in the powder coatings industry. While recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the US market was hit by winter storm Uri in February 2021, which heavily impacted the petrochemical and raw material supplies for the industry. Biller suggests the pandemic and storm combined may have slowed the supply chain down by nine months or more. Consumer spending habits also diverted production and shipping to delivering consumer products instead of coating raw materials.

Shortage of labour and truck drivers

Business may now be booming but manufacturers are still struggling to add capacity and fulfil orders. Raw material supply may be one reason, but the problem is compounded by a shortage of labour and truck drivers.

In China, domestic consumption is increasing with rising capacity. China consumes about 50 % of the global market and this local market demand in China and southeast Asia affects export supplies of key raw materials for powder coatings, which are in short supply in other markets. These raw material shortages include TGIC (triglycidyl isocyanurate) and HAA (hydroxyalkyl amide) used in polyester powder coatings, which represent a 17.5 % and 12.1 % share respectively of the powder coating chemistries globally according to Biller.

Growing confidence in performance

The powder market is growing at 6–7 % with the growth driven by powder coatings being used for new applications and displacing other technologies. Biller says the technology is established but the opportunities for powder coatings come primarily from a growing confidence in their performance and demand for their benefits.

This confidence also comes into play in further consolidation in the coatings industry with key market players such as Akzo Nobel acquiring Stahl Performance Powder Coatings and PPG acquiring Alpha Coating Technologies.

From a manufacturer’s perspective, Anne Banuls, Regional Powder Business Manager at PPG, gives the following insights: “High levels of demand for powder coatings span across multiple market segments, including architectural/extrusion, furniture, appliance and heavy-duty equipment/agricultural and construction equipment. As these market segments grow, the demand for powder coatings that deliver high levels of performance and protection continues to increase.”

For the US market, Chem Quest cites the largest application area as general metals at 39.5 % of the powder coating market, followed by automotive at 16.5 %, and appliances at 12.2 %. Electrical currently comes in at 8.2 %. Discussing the opportunities for the powder coatings sector with Kevin Biller highlighted three main trends.

A more detailed version of this analysis of the powder coatings market can be found in European Coatings Journal 12/2021. The issue is available digitally at our online library 360°.

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