Lack of competition keeps specialty pigment prices high

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cosmetics

Responsible for adding color to both cosmetics and their packaging,
the specialty pigments industry has developed into a high-value
industry that is continuing to expand and grow, but a lack of
competition means that this is likely to remain an expensive
commodity.

Continued consolidation combined with the high rate of demands of this industry means that most specialty pigments suppliers are currently enjoying high margins and little competition, according to a new market report from SRI Consulting, entitled Specialty Pigments.

RJ Chang, Assistant Director of SRIC's Specialty Chemicals Update Program (SCUP), said, "New markets are opening up for these specialty pigments. But only the companies willing to invest in research and product development are benefiting from the new markets."

For the cosmetics industry, growth in demand for specialty pigments is being driven by consumer interest in color cosmetics featuring increasingly technical and elaborate techniques.

One of the leading players in the specialty pigments market for cosmetic product is global chemicals business, Merck. It provides a significant portfolio of colorants for color cosmetic products, including lipsticks, eye shadow, nail color and hair dye, as well as for toiletries such as shampoo, shower gels, soaps.

Likewise, the cosmetic industry's demand for packaging and labeling that can compete for consumer's attention on retail shelves is helping to drive demands for specialty pigments. In turn this is seeing the evolution of increasingly elaborate and eye-catching packaging that often relies on specialty pigments to help differentiate it.

On the packaging side, the specialty pigments can be found in high quality inks, coatings and plastics.

For both cosmetic products and their packaging, this might lead to effects that include interference and color shifting, luminescent and phosphorescent, fluorescent, metal effect, light sensitive photochromic and color changing thermochromic effects.

Although the commodity pigments industry is being driven by intense competion from Chinese and Indian producers, report author Ray Will says that in the specialty pigments segment higher barriers of entry are holding back competition in such developing markets, in turn keeping margins high.

"From security printing and anti-counterfeiting labeling to bold new automotive finishes, to color shifting lip gloss and eye shadow, specialty pigments offer high performance and high value,"​ Will said.

SRI Consulting says that its coverage of the specialty pigments market is a new topic and is being driven in response to the specialty pigment industry's need to focus on high value market segments.

The report contains information on the global specialty pigments industry, providing producer details, market segments by geographic region, together with business dynamics profiled for the major producers.

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