Good perspectives for wood coatings




The global wood coatings market is poised to grow. Environmental goals continue to play a role and several potential disruptive technologies will have impact on the wood coatings market. How is the situation on the market currently?

At a size of 1.25 million tonnes worth more than EUR 8 billion, the wood coatings segment is an attractive market. Consulting company Chemark expects powder coatings and electron-beam technologies will further gain market shares in the future.

The wood coatings market holds currently a share of some 7 % (volume) and 9 % (value) of the total paints and coatings market. According to the projections of Chemark Consulting Group the total market value of the global wood finish market was at EUR 8.1 billion in 2017. The volume reached 1.25 million tonnes. Mike Cash, Axalta’s Senior Vice President and President, Industrial Coatings has a similar view on the market: “Wood coatings is a more than EUR 7.5 billion market globally and has a positive outlook as a strong global economy drives growth in the building product and construction industries.”

Event tipPRA’s 11th International Woodcoatings Congress will cover all aspects of wood coatings, for instance addressing the topical issues of tannin stain blocking, hail resistance and fire resistance, specific to the woodcoatings industry, as well as the latest developments in the use of renewable-based raw materials. The event will take place from October 23-24, 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Furniture industry consumes most of the volume

The furniture industry is still the largest consumer of wood coatings. The market research firm ChemQuest finds that the furniture industry accounts for almost 60 %. These results are in line with the results of the consultants of Chemark, which estimated the market size of wood coatings for furniture at EUR 4.3 billion in 2017. The figures of market research firm Technavio are more cautious and are presenting the value in 2016. Then, the market size was stated at EUR 3 billion. The forecast for 2021 reaches a value of EUR 4 billion. “Furniture companies in emerging markets are growing approximately 15 % per year, led by Asia Pacific and South America. Many regions are experiencing robust building and construction growth rates. In North America, we’re seeing a strong growth of approximately 7-8 % in traditional hardwood and vinyl flooring and 6-7 % growth per year in the building products market for siding, windows and doors, which is helping to drive our business growth,” says Axalta’s Mike Cash.

Solvent-borne systems dominate

According to Technavio solvent-borne furniture wood coatings were the dominating system of this market, with close to 67.54% market share, followed by the water-borne, radiation-cured, and powder coatings segments. Chemark also sees liquid solvent-borne coatings as the dominating systems in the furniture industry, in both the flat stock and the wood finishes segment. Liquid water-borne systems are increasing their share in the market.

Regarding the total wood coatings market, ChemQuest’s analysis show solvent-borne solutions still hold a share of more than 60 % – if you consider conventional and high-solid solvent-borne systems. According to Mike Cash, environmental goals continue to play a role across the entire coatings industry. Mature markets like Europe, use water-borne systems in the majority of their projects. China is in the early stages of converting to water-borne and will likely see accelerated conversion due to the tax on solvent-borne coatings. In Vietnam, other parts of ASEAN, South America, and India, transition will likely be slower due to limited government regulations, Cash notes.

“In the United States, water-borne is used on roughly 80% of the building products market. Cabinetry and furniture industries still use solvent-borne products, but regions such as southern California, the Mountain states, Texas and the North East are increasingly focused on lowering VOCs, which we anticipate impacting technology decisions in those regions,” Axalta’s Senior Vice President adds.

The dominating role of solvent-borne systems will probably remain. “Perhaps most important the low-cost for solvent-based coatings versus the cost-to-convert to an alternative technology can be hard to justify especially for volume users who have already invested in solvent-recovery systems,” says Gary Shawhan of Chemark.


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Manostaxx – Industrial Management Consulting

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