The size of the worldwide antifouling agent market in 2015 was nearly 84 kilo tons. Ongoing trends suggest that it will grow at a CAGR of about 4.5% during the forecast period (2016 to 2024). Demand for antifouling agents (paints & coatings) in the shipping industry will drive this market.
Antifouling agents are specialized paints & coatings used on the hulls of ships. These agents provide vessels with the required smoothness and polished effect. Submerged surfaces of boats and rigs attract algae, bacteria, barnacles, diatoms, and shellfish, which increase hydrodynamic drag. These organisms not only damage the vessel body, but also increase fuel consumption and decrease maneuverability. Such conditions lead to safety hazards. Paints & coatings enhance the strength and performance of vessels by controlling the growth of these sub-aquatic organisms.
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Antifouling agents are made of biocides, organotin compounds, and copper. These materials protect the vessel from external fouling, contaminations, and corrosion. Rapid growth in the oil & gas industry is set to bolster the growth prospects of the antifouling agent industry.
Stringent environmental regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Commission are nudging market players to adopt eco-friendly alternatives. Such a development could inhibit industrial growth. Moreover, the volatile prices of raw materials can negatively impact the global product price, thereby hampering industrial growth.
The industry is segmented into applications, types, and regions. Applications comprise shipping vessels and drilling rigs & production platforms. Shipping vessels contributed to around 80% of the global volume in 2015. However, drilling rigs & production platforms will exhibit considerable growth owing to high investments by oil & gas industries. These investments are mainly directed towards the development of Floating Production Storage & Offloading (FPSO) vessels.
Types encompass copper-based, hybrid, self-polishing, and other. Copper-based antifouling agents is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Its demand can be attributed to its eco-friendly properties.
Regions are divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa (MEA). Asia Pacific held a share of more than 80% in 2015. Growth of the shipbuilding industry in countries, such as Taiwan, China, South Korea, Philippines, and Japan, can boost demand in the region. Moreover, the supply of cheap raw materials & labor contributes to the industry in these countries.
Australia and India are the upcoming ship manufacturing centers in the global market. This owes to the increased governmental support being extended to these markets. Favorable policies and a constructive outlook towards the shipping sector are anticipated to create opportunities for further growth. Rise in the production of unconventional energy sources, such as shale gas and tight oil in Northern America will also support the industry.
Europe held a demand capacity exceeding 5 kilo tons in 2015. Italy and the United Kingdom are witnessing robust growth on account of an increase in yacht manufacturers. MEA was valued at USD 20 million in 2015. The market can register high growth because of offshore vessels development in countries like Saudi Arabia, Angola, and Nigeria.
The prominent competitors of the antifouling agent market are Advanced Marine Coating, AkzoNobel, Hempel, Jotun, and PPG Industries. Companies engage in acquisitions, expansions, partnerships, launch of new technology & product, and research & development to expand their respective businesses.