US demand to reach 1.5 billion gallons in 2017
US demand for paint and coatings is forecast to reach 1.5 billion gallons in 2017, valued at $30.6 billion. This will be a notable improvement over the volume declines recorded during the 2007-2012 period. Gains will be supported by an improved economic outlook and greater consumer confidence. In particular, advances will be driven by a strong rebound in construction activity, which will propel demand for architectural paint, as well as metal building component coatings. Advances in the manufacturing sector will be supported by renewed growth in durable goods output, as rising consumer spending generates greater opportunities for coatings used in the production of big-ticket items such as motor vehicles and furniture.
Dominant architectural market to grow the fastest
The architectural market will remain the leading outlet for paint and coatings through the forecast period, with advances anticipated to outpace those of the other major segments of the paint and coatings industry. The residential sector will offer the best opportunities for growth, as the country recovers from the housing crisis that greatly reduced demand for residential architectural paint, particularly in the new housing segment. Interior applications will remain larger and grow faster than exterior applications. Increasing environmental awareness and greater consumer concern regarding indoor air quality will spur demand for low- or no-volatile organic compound (VOC) products, especially those that are marketed as having low odor or being odor-free. In exterior applications, coatings demand will continue to be restricted by the popularity of siding materials (e.g., vinyl) that do not need painting. However, the growing use of fiber cement siding will provide some support, as this substrate -- unlike vinyl -- can be painted.
Paint and coatings demand in manufacturing markets is expected to expand at a healthy pace through 2017. The metal building components segment is forecast to see particularly rapid gains, promoted by the increased utilization of prefabricated metal building systems in nonresidential construction applications due to the functionality and labor cost savings these systems provide. Furniture coatings will also account for a sizable share of new demand between 2012 and 2017, benefiting from rapid gains in new housing completions, which will boost demand for home furnishings. However, advances will continue to be restricted by the large amount of furniture imported from countries with lower labor costs. The outlook for motor vehicle coatings will be positively impacted by improving economic conditions and rising consumer confidence, which will propel vehicle demand, in turn boosting production rates and creating opportunities for automotive coatings.
Maintenance and specialty coatings will remain the smallest market through 2017. Demand in the industrial maintenance sector will be supported by expanding nonresidential improvement and repair activity, while growth in the marine coatings segment will stem from greater output of marine equipment and the need to maintain large tankers, ships, and cruise liners, as well as offshore drilling rigs and platforms. In the auto refinish sector, the exceptionally high average age of the country’s motor vehicle park will hold opportunities, although gains will be held down somewhat by the trend toward fewer vehicle accidents, and a higher percentage of those vehicles being totaled.