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Waterborne Ink Market: Overview

The regulatory frameworks prevailing across regions and macroeconomic dynamics of end-use industries drive the waterborne ink market. Waterborne inks have been extensively used in printing for packaging materials and paper substrates, where they serve numerous unique characteristics. These inks also serve the need for printing for fabric. Among the various advantages, the use of waterborne inks for high-speed roll-to-roll yardage printing applications is key to growth in the demand in the waterborne ink market. Environmentally friendly formulations in waterborne inks are gathering steam in various end-use industries, particularly in all packaging horizontals. Most prominently, the drive for inks and paints that have low volatile organic compounds (VOC) has been bolstering the prospects in the waterborne ink market. Over the past few years, rapid uptake of waterborne inks in flexography is one of the recent trends that will impart a big momentum to the expansion of the waterborne ink market. In this regard, advancements in flexographic printing machines have fuelled the prospects.

The global waterborne ink market stood at US$2.3 bn in 2015. Garnering a CAGR of 6.5% from 2016 to 2024, the market is anticipated to touch a revenue of US$ 4.1 bn by 2024-end.

waterborne ink market

Flexible Packaging for Food Sector Key Source for Revenue Growth

The global waterborne ink market is segmented based on resin, technology, application, and region. The various application areas are packaging, publication, flyers and brochures, decorative printing, and product printing.

Of all the application areas, the packaging held the major share of the waterborne ink market in 2015. A large chunk of demand for waterborne inks in the packaging segment has come from the food and beverages sector. Rise in demand for flexible packaging in the sector has spurred the use of printing inks, thereby, fueling the prospects of the segment. Growing popularity of flexible packaging for various industries including processed food and beverages sector will further bolster the application of waterborne inks. Key to growing popularity of waterborne inks in packaging applications is numerous salient characteristics it has, such as low weight, high ink penetration, and increased aesthetics.

On the other hand, waterborne inks are being increasingly utilized in publication applications. Some of the materials where waterborne inks are extensively used in newspapers, books, public domain catalogues, and magazines. However, with the rapid inroads made by digital content, the opportunities are likely to decline in coming years.

Commercial printing has been a promising area for the utilization of different types of waterborne inks. Flyers and brochures is one of the lucrative segments in the waterborne ink market. However, during the next few years, a steady streams of revenue to the market will come from the use of waterborne inks in various packaging applications.

The various regions that contribute revenues to the global waterborne ink market are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. Of these, North America led the global waterborne ink market in 2015, vis-à-vis volume. The regional market is expected to retain its dominance throughout the assessment period. This top market was trailed by Europe and Asia Pacific in the same year.

Demand for Environmentally Friendly Inks Key Characteristic of Top Markets

Several ASEAN countries, India and China, have been witnessed rapid uptake of waterborne printing inks in packaging industry. Another region that is witnessing an impressive demand rise in the Middle East and Africa. On the other hand, developed countries in the key markets are offering players a vastly lucrative avenue in the demand for environmentally friendly paints and inks. End use industries are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, which is spurring new revenue potential in the waterborne ink market for players to capitalize on. The trend is particularly noticeable for food and beverages manufacturers. Growing traction of eco-friendly printing solutions in all regions will likely open significant avenues for growth for ink manufacturers.

Manufacturers’ Spending on R&D Aim at Innovation in Formulations

Players have been continuously engaging in research and development activities to come out with more advanced resins for new formulations. They are focusing not just on improving the functionality, but also trying to make them cost-effective to use by several end-use industries.

Despite the promising prospects of water-based inks in several end-use industries, their demand has been substantially hampered by the growing popularity of digital media and e-books. Further, a significant loss of demand can be attributed to the demand for UV-cured inks. In several respects these types are showing better performance characteristics.  

Three key areas of focus for established as well new entrants are incessant marketing activities, product quality, and keen emphasis on innovations in near future. Growing investments in flexographic printing activities are boosting demand for waterborne inks.

Some of the promising players in the waterborne inks market are Huber Group, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Sun Chemical Corporation, and Flint Group.

Global Waterborne Ink Market: Overview

Waterborne ink is also known as water-based ink. Its drying speed is sluggish compared to solvent-based inks. Ink is a blend of colorant, vehicle (resin), solvent, and additives. Waterborne ink contains 60% water or other solvents, 20% resin, 15% colorant and 5 % additives. The main solvent is water, but there could also be other co-solvents present - typically VOCs.

The report estimates and forecasts the waterborne ink market on the global, regional, and country levels. The study provides forecast between 2016 and 2024 based on volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn) with 2015 as the base year. The report comprises an exhaustive value chain analysis for each of the product segments. It provides a comprehensive view of the market. The study includes drivers and restraints for the waterborne ink market along with their impact on demand during the forecast period. The study also provides key market indicators affecting the growth of the market. The report analyzes opportunities in the waterborne ink market on the global and regional level. Furthermore, the report analyzes substitutes of waterborne ink. It also provides the global average price trend analysis.

Global Waterborne Ink Market: Research Methodologies

The report includes Porter’s Five Forces Model to determine the degree of competition in the waterborne ink market. The report comprises a qualitative write-up on market attractiveness analysis, wherein resin, technology, application and countries have been analyzed based on attractiveness for each region. Growth rate, market size, raw material availability, profit margin, impact strength, technology, competition, and other factors (such as environmental and legal) have been evaluated in order to derive the general attractiveness of the market.

In-depth interviews and discussions with wide range of key opinion leaders and industry participants were conducted to compile this research report. Primary research represents the bulk of research efforts, supplemented by extensive secondary research. Key players’ product literature, annual reports, press releases, and relevant documents were reviewed for competitive analysis and market understanding. This helped in validating and strengthening secondary research findings. Primary research further helped in developing the analysis team’s expertise and market understanding.

Secondary research sources that were typically referred to include, but were not limited to company websites, financial reports, annual reports, investor presentations, broker reports, and SEC filings. Other sources such as internal and external proprietary databases, statistical databases and market reports, news articles, national government documents, and webcasts specific to companies operating in the market have also been referred for the report.

Global Waterborne Ink Market: Scope of the Study

The study provides a comprehensive view of the waterborne ink market by dividing it into resin, technology application and geography. In terms of resin, the waterborne ink market has been segmented into acrylic, polyester, maleic and others. In terms of technology, the waterborne ink market is segmented into flexography, gravure, digital and others. In terms of application, the waterborne ink market has been segmented into packaging, publication, flyers & brochures and others. The packaging segment has been further bifurcated into flexible and corrugated. The publication segment has been further divided into newspapers, magazines & periodicals and books.  Application segments have been analyzed based on historic, present, and future trends, and the market has been estimated in terms of volume (kilo tons) and revenue (US$ Mn) between 2016 and 2024.

Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for waterborne ink in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa (MEA). Additionally, the report comprises country-level analysis in terms of volume and revenue for product and application segments. Key countries such as the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, the U.K., Spain, Italy, Japan, India, China, Mexico, South Africa, and Brazil have been included in the study. Market segmentation includes demand for individual resin, technology and application in all the regions and countries.

Global Waterborne Ink Market: Competitive Landscape

The report covers detailed competitive outlook that includes market share and profiles of key players operating in the global market. Key players profiled in the report include Sun Chemical Corporation, Flint Group, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd., Huber Group, Wikoff Color Corporation, Doneck Euroflex S.A.,Sebek Inks, Dolphin Inks, BCM Inks and Chimigraf. Company profiles include attributes such as company overview, number of employees, brand overview, key competitors, business overview, business strategies, recent/key developments, acquisitions, and financial overview (wherever applicable).

The waterborne ink market has been divided into the following segments:

Resin Analysis

  • Acrylic
    • Styrene Acrylic
  • Polyester
  • Maleic
  • Others (Including polyurethane resin, phenolic resin, etc.)

Technology Analysis

  • Flexography
  • Gravure
  • Digital
  • Others (Including screen printing and sheet-fed offset printing, etc.)

Application Analysis

  • Packaging
    • Flexible
    • Corrugated
  • Publication
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines & Periodicals
    • Books
  • Flyers & Brochures
  • Others (Including decorative printing and product printing, etc.)

Regional Analysis

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • France
    • U.K.
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific (APAC)
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America (LATAM)
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (MEA)

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Waterborne Ink Market

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