MARKET TRENDS: Additives Advance

March 1, 2009
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A look at the worldwide consumption of additives.

Consulting firm Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney estimates that worldwide consumption of five leading additives for coatings and inks was 1.4 million pounds, worth $3.1 billion in 2008. Coatings accounted for 80% of the value, and inks the remainder. Recently, growth registered a 5-6% annual rate of increase, with the emerging economies in Asia leading the way. In 2009, minimal worldwide growth is expected; recovery is expected thereafter.

Asia is the largest outlet for coating and ink additives, accounting for 40% of the total. Japan and China are the leading consumers, and highlight the growth variances between mature and developing economies. Japan has seen only slight growth recently, while Chinese consumption has been expanding at double-digit rates. Europe and North America each consume about one-quarter of the additives, with usage in these regions projected to be down in 2009; recovery in demand is expected thereafter. Improved performance and environmental advantages are emphasized in North America and Europe. The rest of the world takes some 10% of the additive value.

Rheology modifiers are the largest additives in coatings and inks, with about one-third of the global dollar value. Dispersants come in second, capturing 22% of the value. Foam-control additives account for 17%; wetting agents, 15%; and slip and rub materials, 12%. Many types and grades of each of the additive types are used for coatings and inks.

This information is based upon Kusumgar, Nerlfi & Growney’s upcoming multi-client study, Global Coating & Ink Additives, available through subscription. For more information, phone (973) 439-0030, e-mail or visit


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