Published November 2022
The migration of the pigments business to Asia, particularly mainland China and India, continues. Since the mid-1990s, production in mainland China and India has rapidly increased, and mainland China is now the world’s largest organic color pigment producer, especially for commodity-type pigments. Additional mediumtier to higher-value organic pigments are also migrating to mainland China from North America, Europe, and Japan, as the large multinational producers no longer have patent protection over many of their products. Production in Europe, the United States, and Japan continues on a downward trend as the market has become globalized and gross margins have been squeezed, leading to plant shutdowns and restructuring. The volume of unfinished pigments imported to North America, Western Europe, and Japan for finishing continues to decrease as more finished pigment is imported from mainland China.
The following pie chart shows world consumption of organic color pigments:
The worldwide pigments industry produces hundreds of colorant, extender, and functional pigments for a wide spectrum of industrial and consumer markets. The largest outlet for organic pigments is printing inks, followed by coatings and plastics. The fastest-growing sectors are expected to be coatings and plastics, especially in Asia. Global consumption of organic pigments is expected to increase at 1–2% per year from 2022 to 2027.
Globally, printing inks account for about half of total demand on a volume basis, coatings for about one-fourth, and plastics and other industries such as textiles for the remainder. By pigment class, about half of the world volume share is azo pigments, followed by phthalocyanines (blue and green) with about one-third; highperformance and other pigments account for the remainder. Mainland China is the principal global supplier of red and yellow azo-based pigments and their intermediates. India is the principal global supplier of blue and green phthalocyanine-based pigments and their intermediates.
The major area of concern for the industry currently is stability of supply. The world is becoming more dependent on supplies of intermediates and finished products from mainland China, and consumers have been experiencing disruptions in supplies of some products caused by the government’s crackdowns on polluters. As a result, the prices of some pigments, especially those made from raw materials naphthol and arylamide, have risen substantially. Most multinational suppliers of organic pigments announced substantial price increases in mid-2018. In October 2021, global prices for quinacridone pigments also increased due to the price surge of key raw material, polyphosphoric acid, caused by energy curtailments in mainland China. It is likely that supplies will be subject to more fluctuations in the future. The environmental practices of Indian producers will also likely come under more scrutiny from governmental authorities, which could result in closures of many small, noncomplying producers.
For more detailed information, see the table of contents, shown below.
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook – Organic Color Pigments is the comprehensive and trusted guide for anyone seeking information on this industry. This latest report details global and regional information, including
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook – Organic Color Pigments has been compiled using primary interviews with key suppliers and organizations, and leading representatives from the industry in combination with S&P Global’s unparalleled access to upstream and downstream market intelligence and expert insights into industry dynamics, trade, and economics.
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