A colorant can used either as a dye or a pigment subject to the binder involved in the manufacturing process. Pigment is a material that modifies the color of the transmitted or reflected light resulting from the wavelength-selective absorption. A pigment is required to have high tinting strength compared to the materials it colors. Most pigments used in the manufacture of paints, plastics, etc. are dry colorants, typically milled into a fine powder.

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This powder is further added to a binder, which is comparatively colorless and neutral material that suspends the pigment and gives the required adhesion to paints. Pigments are mostly used for coloring fabric, food, paint, inks, and other materials. There is a major difference between a pigment and dye. A pigment is insoluble in its binder, while a dye is mostly soluble in its binder or is itself a liquid.

Colorants Market: Drivers and Restraints

Colorants is a key sector of the specialty chemical industry. Increasing demand from the high performance pigments application, recent developments in end-user industries, and rising inclination toward environment-friendly products are the primary factors driving the colorants market. Pigments and dyes are employed in various applications such as textile, paints & coatings, construction, plastics, and printing inks. Overcapacity across the globe, volatility in prices of raw materials, and concerns regarding its environmental hazards are factors restraining the market for colorants.

Colorants Market: Segmentation

Based on application, the colorants market can be segmented into:

-Automotive

-Industrial

-Decorative Paints & Coatings

-Architectural Paints and Coatings

-Plastic

-Films

-Fibers

-Detergent Coloration

-Cosmetics

-Aluminum Finishing

-Electronic Displays

In terms of type, the colorants market can be bifurcated into:

-Dyes

-Pigments

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The global market for colorants was estimated to be valued at around US$ 27 Bn in 2016. The industry experienced average growth rate of 2% to 3% per annum in the last decade. Furthermore, exports account for approximately 68% of the colorants market in India in 2015.

Based on product, the colorants market can be bifurcated into:

-Synthetic Colorants

-Natural Colorants

Synthetic colorants (polymeric colorants) offer various physical properties such as absorption, solubility, viscosity, and migration. Synthetic colorants are non-abrasive and relatively less toxic.

Interest in natural food colors has resulted in new product development globally. Europe is expected to lead the natural colorants segment. However, Asia Pacific is predicted to witness the fastest growth rate in the natural colorants segment The colorants market has been expanding in Asia Pacific owing to the rise in media exposure, implementation of stringent regulations on synthetic products, and growth in consumer awareness about natural products. However, the natural colorants segment in the U.S. has been expanding at a comparatively sluggish pace. Recent Big Food broadcasts confirm that under rising pressure from health-interest groups and consumers, the natural colorants segment in the U.S. is anticipated to witness a revolution in the near future. For example, in 2015, companies such as Nestlé USA and Hershey announced their decision to stop producing products made from artificial colors and flavors

Colorants Market: Region-wise outlook

Asia Pacific held the major share of the global colorants market in 2015. It is a key region for the production of dyes and pigments. India and China are expected to significantly contribute towards the growth of the colorants market in Asia Pacific. India has developed as a global supplier of pigments, intermediates, and dyes since the last few years. In terms of demand for colorants, India is one of the largest markets for dyes and pigments and contributes nearly 6% share of the global colorants market. During the last couple of years, there has been a remarkable growth in exports of colorants in Asia Pacific to other regions across the globe.

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