Paper coating materials are substances used in coatings over a base paper. These coatings help in imparting the required properties such as gloss, smoothness, chemical resistance, brightness, etc., to the paper. Paper is processed along with plastics, latex, clay and metals to create coated paper products. Certain beneficial characteristics such as longevity, aesthetics, sterility and improved recyclability can be imparted to paper by using coating materials. The market is driven by increasing demand from the end-user industries of paper, especially for corrugated boxes and binding covers. However, a general shift away from paper due to harmful effects of its production process on the environment is expected to hamper the market growth to a certain extent. Environmentally friendly solutions for paper might act as a future prospective for sustaining the market growth. Furthermore, use of coated paper as a substitute for plastic bags and packaging is expected to fuel the growth of the paper coating materials market in the near future.
The paper coating materials market can be classified on the basis of product types into nine segments as ground calcium carbonate (GCC), precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC), wax, kaolin clay, starch, SB latex, talc, titanium dioxide and others. Ground calcium carbonate (GCC) is estimated to be the largest as well as the fastest growing segment for the next six years owing to its low cost and wide applicability. SB latex, talc and Kaolin clay are other types that are expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. SB latex, starch and titanium dioxide market volumes are relatively small compared to other paper coating materials. However, these are high value markets due to their high prices. These paper coating materials are utilized for specialized applications in food packaging, magazines, pharmaceuticals, etc. Additionally, general public awareness and strict regulatory stance against usage of non-biodegradable materials, such as plastics, is supporting the paper market which in turn converts into demand for paper coating materials. In many European countries, the use of plastic bags has been banned to be replaced by coated paper bags.
In terms of geography, Asia Pacific is estimated to be the leading market attributed to the fast growing industrial applications of paper. The region is witnessing major growth in China, Japan and South Korea owing to rapid technological advancements in these countries. Rest of the world (RoW) is expected to be the fastest growing segment. In Rest of the World region, countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa are expected to witness market growth higher than GDP. Asia Pacific combined with RoW accounted for more than half of the global demand for paper coating materials in 2012. This trend is expected to continue over the forecast period with close competition between the two regions for the leading position. The mature markets of Europe and North America are expected to grow at a slower pace as compared to Asia Pacific and RoW. The European and North American paper coating materials market declined between 2008 and 2010 due to over supplies and general economic downturn in these regions. However, with present changes in the economic activities in the regions the market is showing positive growth and is expected to climb higher over the forecast period between 2013 and 2019.
The market is dominated by a few global organized players. However, a large share of the market is served by small and medium sized players. Some of the key players in the paper coating materials market include Imerys S.A., BASF SE, Penford Corporation, Omya AG, and Michelman Inc., among many others.
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