Protective coatings: Substantial Changes

A close look at the market for protective coatings.

How is the situation at the market for protective coatings?
How is the situation at the market for protective coatings? Image source: besjunior_AdobeStock

With the global economy affected by the pandemic, there were substantial changes in the protective coatings market. From our research we estimated the global protective coatings market at around 7.8 million metric tonnes in 2020, increasing slightly from 2019.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused strong declines in the protective coatings market for most regions with the exception of Asia-Pacific which was estimated to have grown by 3.2 %. China, which accounts for the majority of the protective coatings market managed to grow in 2020, positively influencing the overall market. Nonetheless, IRL estimated that sales in the Middle East & Africa declined by -7 %, in Europe sales declined by -7.1 % and in the Americas sales declined by -8.9 % with the overall market growing in volume by 1.5 %. The market value however experienced a decline despite the sales volume growth.

Asia-Pacific accounts for almost 86 % of global sales

The global protective coatings market is dominated by sales in the Asia-Pacific, with this region accounting for almost 86 % of global sales of protective coatings. The rapid growth of the Chinese construction industry in the last few decades has been a result of the large investments into infrastructure construction which fuels demand for protective coatings in Asia, with the civil engineering sector the leading end use for coatings. In terms of the countries that make up for most of the demand in the region China once again enjoyed an increase in sales in 2020 whereas the other countries in the region that generate most of the demand such as India, Japan and Indonesia experienced a strong decline as the restrictions put in place to suppress the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the market.

Sales originating from Western Europe have the largest share in the European protective coatings industry, and account for almost half of the total sales in the continent. The leading country markets include Germany, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom. The Western European market for protective coatings is mature, and over the last few years growth in the industry has been growing. Europe has remained a hub for coating innovation, having a direct influence on the manufacture of coatings worldwide. Eastern and Central European markets show more signs of potential for future growth. Sales of protective coatings for most European countries declined in 2020 with France, Spain and Italy experiencing strong declines whereas Germany, Poland and Turkey fared better but still registered a drop in their markets.

In the Americas, the protective coatings market is mainly dominated by North America, which accounts for around two-thirds of sales in the region. The countries with the leading markets include the US, Brazil, and Mexico. The increase in investments into new developments and maintenance for bridges, rail networks, and structural parts of non-residential buildings, predominantly in North America, has boosted the demand for protective coatings in the region over the last decade. In 2020, Mexico experienced a one of the strongest declines in sales whereas sales declined at a lesser rate for Brazil. The US market, the largest by far in the region also dropped substantially.

Protective coatings market Middle East and Africa

The Middle East & Africa region account for the smallest demand for protective coatings. The leading country market in the Middle East for protective coatings is Iran, followed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In Africa, Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt consume the largest volumes of protective coatings in the region. The greatest demand for protective coatings in Africa and the Middle East originates from the industrial sector. The emerging economies within Africa and the Middle East have been crucial to the rise in construction activity, thus fuelling the demand for construction materials for various industries including protective coatings. In 2020, sales declines were felt across the region with the South African market being one of the most affected.

The complete article can be found in the May issue of the European Coatings Journal

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