The global imaging chemicals market is valued at an estimated USD 31.7 billion in 2023, which is expected to reach USD 47.0 billion by 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 5.8% during 2024–2030. This is due to the high-volume use of these chemicals in various industries, such as packaging, printing, healthcare, and textiles.
Over the past few years, countries such as China, India, and Indonesia have emerged as major markets for printing inks. The rapid urbanization and commercialization in these countries have resulted in a sharp increase in the consumption of these products for office purposes. Additionally, the changing lifestyle in emerging economies has resulted in a spike in the consumption of packaged food, which is driving the market by augmenting the demand for packaging.
The increasing adoption of chemical imaging in the pharmaceutical industry for the detection of altered drugs, defective packaging, and any particle other than active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) is also propelling the demand for these chemicals.
Printing inks dominate the product type segment in 2023, due to their wide usage area in textiles, glass, plastics, paper, and other industries. Moreover, the growing consumption of packaged food items and rising demand for bio-based products printing inks are propelling the market in this category.
Moreover, players are opening new manufacturing plants to expand their presence. For instance, in March 2023, DIC India Limited invested approximately INR 110 crore in a new plant in Gujarat, which will have an annual printing ink output of 65,000 tonnes.
In addition, the adoption of digital printing is expected to provide a lucrative growth opportunity in the coming years. This is because this approach offers more design options, faster turnarounds, and cost-effectiveness, lowers the pre-press time, and eliminates the usage of materials that are associated with offset printing.
By application, printing & packaging dominate the imaging chemicals market in 2023. This is attributed to the growing usage of printing inks in the packaging and labeling processes in different industries. The commercial printing sector includes package printing, newsprints, and publishing of stationery, brochures, and catalogs, where printing is a key process.
Imaging chemicals are also used for diagnostic purposes. Various types of contrast materials, such as barium sulfate and iodine-based compounds, are used in CT, MRI, and X-ray scans for a clearer image of the internal anatomy. In this regard, the increasing prevalence of diseases such as cancer and neurological conditions is aiding the growth of this market.
APAC is the fastest-growing regional market, with a CAGR of 6.3%, during the forecast period, owing to the presence of a vast manufacturing hub in China. Further, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the rising healthcare expenditure are expected to contribute to the growth of this market. The increasing disposable income and the rising demand for textiles are also propelling the growth of the APAC market.
Moreover, the presence of numerous major economies, such as India and China, is propelling this growth. China is one of the top exporters of textiles in the world, along with India and Thailand.
Some of the key players are FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, Vivimed Labs Limited, DIC Corp., Flint Group, Sakata Inx Corporation, Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA, and T&K Toka Co. Ltd.