Pearlescent pigments are manufactured by coating the laminar substrate with metal oxide. Pearlescent pigments are produced by natural as well as synthetic methods. Natural pearl pigments make use of natural mica as a substrate material, whereas synthetic pearl pigments makes use of silica, alumina and synthetic mica as substrate material. Even though natural pearlescent pigments account for the major market share in terms of consumption, the use of synthetic pearlescent pigments is rapidly gaining traction as compared to the natural pearlescent pigments. Besides, production of synthetic pearlescent pigment tailored for specific end use requirements is a more feasible process as compared to natural pearl pigments, which gives it an edge over its counterpart.
These pigments have unique optical properties and are semi-transparent in nature. These pigments find application in automotive paints, architectural and decorative paints, plastic, paints & coatings and printing, among others.
Increasing preference for aesthetics finishes in passenger cars, coupled with the growth of the automobile and construction industry is one of the major drivers for growth of the global pearlescent pigments market. Pearlescent pigments are widely used in the automotive paints and coatings industry, which thereby is anticipated to drive their demand over the forecast period.
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Stringent government regulations are expected to adversely impact growth of the global pearlescent market significantly over the forecast period. Over the last few years, some small and medium-scale companies have exited the pearlescent pigment market due to the high costs involved in ensuring regulatory compliance. Apart from this, cost of pearlescent pigments is relatively high in developed regions of North America and Western Europe as opposed to Asia Pacific, where pearlescent pigment is available at a relatively cheaper price, due to low cost of labour and wide availability of raw materials such as natural mica.
Key players involved in the manufacturing of pearlescent pigments are shifting their focus from natural mica based pigments to customized synthetic pearlescent pigments, and are in the process of shifting their production base from developed economies to developing economies of Asia Pacific, considering economies of scale
Increasing demand from automotive industry demanding vehicles with different colours, preference for application of pearlescent pigment on food packaging products to provide attractive appearance and rising application of pearlescent pigments in digital printing for quality dispersion and improved viscosity and consistency are some of the other trends observed in the global pearlescent pigment market
It is observed that there is an increasing application of borosilicate or glass flake pearlescent pigments in cosmetics such as lip gloss. Use of glass flake pearlescent pigment in lip products has been significantly higher than in other cosmetics over the last five years.
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Product Type Analysis
On the basis of product type, the global pearlescent pigment market is segmented into natural pearl pigment, synthetic pearl pigment and glass flake pearl pigment. The natural pearl pigment segment has been estimated to account for the largest market value share of 67.2% in 2015 and is expected to remain dominant till the end of forecast period. Revenue contribution of the synthetic pearlescent pigment segment is anticipated to increase at the highest CAGR of 4.5% over the forecast period
Structure Type Analysis
On the basis of structure type, the global pearlescent pigment market is segmented into substrate-free, monolayer and multilayer pearl pigment. The multilayer segment accounted for the largest market value share in 2014 and is expected to remain the most dominant segment in the market till the end of forecast period. Revenue contribution of the substrate-free pearlescent pigment is anticipated to expand at a sluggish growth rate of 1.7% over the forecast period
On the basis of application, the global pearlescent pigment market is segmented into automotive paints, paints & coatings, personal care, plastics, printing and others (architecture, decorative paints, home appliances and textiles). In 2014, the automotive paints application segment was the largest contributor in terms of value, accounting for 39.5% market share, while the paints & coating segment dominated in terms of volume. Wide application of pearlescent pigment in premium and luxury class passenger cars, couple with increasing demand for vehicles with different colours, is one of the key reasons expected to drive demand for pearlescent pigments in automotive paints application. On the other hand, the cosmetics and printing segments, together, accounted for more than 20% value share of the market in 2014, and are anticipated to register a health growth rate of 3.9% and 3.8%, respectively, over the forecast period, particularly in view of the rising demand for pearlescent pigments in cosmetics and food packaging products.
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Regionally, the global pearlescent pigment market is segmented into Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ), North America, Latin America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa and Japan. In 2014, Western Europe, followed by North America, were the largest markets for pearlescent pigment. In terms of growth rate, APEJ is anticipated to be the most lucrative market over the forecast period.
Key players profiled in this study on the global pearlescent pigments market include BASF SE, Sudarshan Chemicals Industries Ltd, Merck KgaA, DIC Corporation, ALTANA AG, Fujian Kuncai Material Technology Co Ltd, CRISTAL, Shanghai Zhuerna High-Tech Powder Material Co. Ltd, Oxen Special Chemicals Co. Ltd, Huaian Concord Industrial Product Co. Ltd, Spectra Colours Ltd, Lansco Colours Ltd, Aal Chemicals, Zhejiang Ruicheng Effect Pigments Co. Ltd, Sinpearl Pearlescent Pigment Co. Ltd and Kolorjet Chemicals Pvt Ltd.