Growth in the European industrial wood coatings markets hinges on the increased importance of radcure and waterborne coatings.
While the western European industrial wood coatings markets are mature, there is potential to grow with technological innovations and new application regions. Increasing volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions are leading to stricter environmental norms. Accordingly, there is a shift toward radcure and waterborne coatings, which is expected to promote market growth.
Frost & Sullivan (chemicals.frost.com) finds that the Western European Industrial Wood Coatings Markets earned revenues of €1.26 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach € 1.53 billion in 2013.
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“The stringent environmental legislation regarding VOC emissions is compelling wood coating manufacturers to shift from solvent borne to radcure and waterborne coatings,” notes Frost &Sullivan Research Analyst Mr. Gautam Kalidas Vuppuluri. “In the future, this trend will be responsible for growth in the industrial wood coatings markets.”
Moreover, the average price of radcure and waterborne coatings is higher than that of solvent borne coatings. As a result, the increase in the use of these coatings is set to propel a rise in market revenues.
Eastern Europe is luring coating manufacturers due to the cheaper costs and hence has tremendous potential along with other low-cost markets such as Asia and China. Therefore, manufacturers can expand their presence by gaining entry into these markets so as to augment their customer base, increase margins and reduce manufacturing costs.
At present, the biggest challenge faced by manufacturers is to develop regulation-compliant coatings. Manufacturers that do not comply with the new regulations will be fined heavily and some may even have to shut down operations due to their inability to comply with these regulations.
“With greater environmental awareness, regulatory boards and end users are aware of the harmful effects of solvent based coatings, and are looking at alternatives such as radcure and waterborne coatings,” states Mr. Vuppuluri. “This increasing awareness is compelling people to shift to environment-friendly coatings, and manufacturers will have to focus on alternative coatings to ensure regulatory compliance as well as sustain their market share.”
Notably, certain manufacturers view the changing environmental regulations as an opportunity to increase their market share and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Moreover, in view of the above-mentioned situation, manufacturers can employ closed loop systems for solvents, wherein the solvent is separated from the end product and recycled along with the raw materials, thus resulting in lower emissions.
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