July 8, 2014
Global Industry Analysts Inc., San Jose, Calif., has released a research report titled "Metal Finishing Chemicals: A Global Strategic Business Report." The report, which provides a comprehensive review of market trends, drivers, mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic metal finishing industry activities, projects that global demand for metal finishing chemicals will reach $9.5 billion by 2020, driven by the need to enhance product value by improving the feel and appearance of products.
Metal finishing is essential for improving the appearance of surfaces through the use of chemical processes from nickel plating and gold plating to powder coating. Opportunities in the market are closely linked to the health of the manufacturing sector, with future growth expected to be shaped by resurgent demand from key sectors such as electronics, heavy equipment and machinery, automobile, and appliances.
Spiraling sales of portable electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, e-books, MP3 players, and cameras are driving the focus on product surface appearance. The automotive industry is another major end-use market for metal finishing technology, with growth driven by growing consumer demand for new and better-looking vehicles. Strong automobile production in developing markets is poised to benefit growth in this sector.
Despite these opportunities, stringent environmental regulations curbing toxic chemical air emissions associated with metal finishing processes, and the continuous shift towards engineered plastics in vehicle bodies, will present challenges to growth in the coming years.
The largest product market is plating chemicals, with the demand for electroless plating growing rapidly. Growing popularity of modern kitchen and bathroom plumbing fixtures is a major factor responsible for fueling demand for high-end plating chemicals. Copper plating chemicals are expected to offer strong growth because of the increasing use of copper interconnect technology in the information technology and consumer electronics industries.
According to the report, the U.S. is the largest market for metal finishing chemicals worldwide. Asia-Pacific, led by China and India, is the fastest-growing market, with a CAGR of 7.7 percent over the analysis period. The region’s emergence as a manufacturing hub supported by low raw material cost, cheap labor, and close proximity to growing markets is providing a major boost to demand for metal finishing chemicals. Other factors driving growth in the region include steady population growth, rapid urbanization, robust industrialization, healthy infrastructure development, and GDP gains.