The global inkjet colorants market was valued at US$ 2.7 Bn in 2017 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of more than 6.5% from 2018 to 2026, according to a new report by Transparency Market Research (TMR) titled ‘Inkjet Colorants Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2018–2026.’ Inkjet colorants are pigments and dyes used as raw materials to manufacture inkjet inks. Different types of inkjet colorants include organic pigments, inorganic pigments, high-performance pigments, and synthetic pigments and dyes. Pigments and dyes occur naturally in the nature. These can also be synthesized in laboratories.
Rising Awareness about Benefits of Inkjet Printing Technology to Boost Market
Use of digital printing technology is rising across the globe. Digital printing offers several advantages over analog printing such as low cost, higher customization, mass production, and environmental benefits. Inkjet printing technology is a type of digital printing technology. Hence, the adoption of digital printing technology is expected to boost the adoption of inkjet printing technology. Inkjet printing technology requires inkjet ink; therefore, it requires ink colorants.
Benefits of inkjet printing technology include superior product quality, efficiency, and speed. Inkjet printing technology uses more of water-based ink, which reduces environmental damage caused due to printing. Furthermore, water-based inks add very little weight to the substrate, thereby reducing transport and mailing costs.
Raw Material Prices Greatly Affect Inkjet Colorant Prices
The manufacturing of inkjet colorants requires a wide range of raw materials such as carbon black, treating agents, sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride, and Para Chloro Ortho Nitro Aniline. Inkjet colorant manufacturers depend on outside suppliers to meet their raw material requirements. The availability of raw materials has fluctuated, thus affecting prices of inkjet colorants. This, in turn, affects the prices of inkjet colorants. Inkjet colorant manufacturers such as BASF SE and Clariant Corporation increased prices of their pigments and dyes in 2018 due to the rise in raw material prices. Typically, this price increase lasts for a period of time after which, the prices subside. The cycle of price increase and decrease of inkjet colorants due to raw material supply is likely to continue during the forecast period.
Development of Nanotechnology to Manufacture Inkjet Colorants
Nanotechnology is being developed for a wide range of applications in the printing inks industry, including self-dispersing inkjet pigments. Nanotechnology is expected to provide several benefits such as improving heat resistance of inkjet printing inks, environmental efficiency of inkjet colorants, and to manufacture unusually powerful pigments.
Companies such as China-based Jetcolor and Landa Corporation have started developing technologies to manufacture inkjet colorants and nano-dispersed pigments for high-quality inkjet inks. This trend is expected to continue during the forecast period, as more companies are expected to dedicate resources to nanotechnology related inkjet colorant research.
Global Inkjet Colorants Market Segmented Based on Product, End-use, and Region
In terms of product, the global inkjet colorants market has been bifurcated into pigments and dyes. The pigments segment accounts for a large share of the market. Pigments have several advantages over dyes. For example, they can be used on a wider range of substrates and last for a long period of time. Pigment-based inkjet inks are waterproof and more resistant to fading as compared to dye-based inkjet inks. Based on end-use, the inkjet colorants market has been segregated into industrial and commercial. The industrial segment holds a major share of the market, primarily due to high manufacturing output of industrial applications that utilize large amounts of inkjet inks. Inkjet printing technology is more efficient and is likely to require less amount of inkjet ink per project, especially for paper-related applications in the commercial segment.
In terms of region, the inkjet colorants market has been segmented into North America (the U.S. and Canada), Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America), Europe (Germany, the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Russia & CIS, and Rest of Europe), Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific) and Middle East & Africa (GCC, South Africa, and Rest of Middle East & Africa). Asia Pacific is a key consumer of inkjet colorants due to the large amount of manufacturing that takes place in the region.
High Level of Competition in Moderately Consolidated Market
Inkjet colorants market is a moderately consolidated with the presence of key multinational players such as Cabot Corporation, BASF SE, Nippon Kayaku Co. Ltd., DIC Corporation, and Clariant International AG. It is also a mature market. Established players make it relatively difficult for new companies to enter the market.
Several big companies in the market adopt strategies such as mergers & acquisitions, new product launches, and capacity expansions to improve their foothold. For example, in April 2015, Clariant International AG’s subsidiary Clariant AG Chemicals acquired the carbon black business from LANXESS India Private Limited, which manufactures black pigment preparations. This acquisition is projected to help Clariant AG Chemicals offer products to a larger customer base. In the same year, LANXESS completed the construction of an inorganic pigments plant in Ningbo, China, specifically to produce iron oxide pigments. The total investment at the Ningbo site was around US$ 70 Mn. The site has an annual synthesis capacity of 25,000 metric tons.