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Inks mark the spot in specialty chemicals

Published on 2003-08-01. Author : SpecialChem

 

The overall growth in the global inks market has been slow to flat over the past several years. However, certain product areas are promising such as Industrial inkjet applications, security and UV/electron beam (EB) products which have been recently targeted by the major ink manufacturers and suppliers.

The global market for inks this year is estimated at $13.8 billion, according to Chemark Consulting Group, a Southern Pines, N.C.-based consultancy. The North American market is estimated at roughly $5 billion which makes it the largest market followed by Asia-Pacific ($3.6 billion), Western Europe ($3.2 billion), Eastern Europe ($800 million) and the rest of the world at $1.2 billion, says Phil Phillips, president of Chemark.

Overall, global growth in the inks market was flat in 2002, and the market is expected to increase only by 0.8 percent in 2003. The US market is about $4.24 billion, based on 2001 estimates, according to Impact Marketing Consultants Inc., a Manchester, Vt.-based market research firm. Lithographic applications being the largest area is at 42 percent, followed by flexographic (24 percent), gravure (14 percent), screen printing (4 percent), letterpress (3 percent), ink jet (3 percent) and other applications at 10 percent.

The United States alone has consumed an estimated 2.05 billion pounds of raw materials with an estimated dollar value of roughly $1.7 billion, according to Impact Marketing. By volume, solvents, including hydrocarbons, hydrocarbon oils and oxygenated solvents (excluding water), have accounted for 46 percent of consumption, followed by plastic resins and varnishes at 27 percent, and pigments (organic, inorganic and carbon black) at 23 percent. Considering the dollar basis, pigment and carbon black had the greatest share at 51 percent, based on 2001 estimates, followed by resins, varnishes and rosin (34 percent), solvents (10 percent) and additives (4 percent).


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