Growing construction and automobile industries have been fueling the demand for solvents especially in developing regions such as Asia Pacific. Increase in residential and commercial infrastructure coupled with growth in the automobile industry have been leading to growth in paints and coatings industry, further increasing solvents consumption. Alcohol-based solvents dominated the market, while other solvents including glycol and green solvents are expected to be the fastest growing products in the coming years.
Asia Pacific dominated the solvents market and accounted for 40.1% of the global consumption in 2011. Emerging economies such as India and China have been boosting solvent consumption in the region. Europe is expected to show sluggish growth as it is a mature market and is expected to witness growth at an estimated CAGR of 2.8% over the forecast period of six years. North America closely followed Europe and expected to show moderate growth rate over the forecast period. In the U.S. the awareness about the adverse effects of solvent exposure on human health and the environment has resulted in government legislations controlling production and application of solvents.
Alcohol-based solvents emerged as leading product segment and accounted for 29.7% of the global market in 2011. Along with being the market leader, it is also expected to be among the fastest growing markets. Hydrocarbon based solvents followed the alcohol-based solvents and are expected to grow moderately in the coming future. Growing consumption from the end-use industries has been fueling demand for solvents. Potential demand for bio-based solvents has been raising consumption of other solvents including glycols and soy oils. Others segment is projected to be the fastest growing in the solvent market, at an estimated CAGR of 3.6% over the forecast period from 2012 to 2018.
Paints and coatings dominated the global solvents market with 60.6% of the total consumption in 2011. Along with being the largest market, it is also expected to be the fastest growing, at an estimated CAGR of 3.5% in the next six years. Growing end-use industries such as paint and coatings and pharmaceutical have been fueling the growth of solvents in the BRIC countries. Printing inks, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and adhesives are comparatively small segments, followed by paints and coatings.