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FCMs Chemicals sectors and intermediate materials Part three

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Continuing the previous chapter of FCMs Chemicals sectors and intermediate materials, the article will dig deeper into the vanishes, coating and wax with the detailed estimated annual turnover of different types of enterprises.

Varnishes and coatings

Varnishes and coatings are non-self-supporting layers composed of substances applied on another material or article in order to impart special properties on it or improve its technical performance. Principally organic coatings are typically applied in a liquid or powder state and need to dry, cure or solidify to reach their finished state. A typical use of coatings is to protect the surface of metal food cans, prevent food spoilage and enhance the performance of the packaging material. Coatings are also used at the industrial level on food vats and tanks, and they are also used on the non-food contact side of the packaging, for instance, to protect the ink and improve the gloss.

The European Council of producers and importers of paints, printing inks and artists’ colours (CEPErepresents businesses that manufacture paints, coatings and inks, including varnishes and coatings used for FCMs. It represents c.85 % of this industry, employing 120 000 people with an overall value of around EUR 17 billion.

The supply chain of food contact coatings for metal packaging has been described in industrial guidelines (the Industrial Guidelines On Traceability Of Materials And Articles For Food Contact, 2006). It is summarised in Figure 2 below.

FCMs Supply chain for coatings in relation to metal packaging (source CEPE)

Figure 2: FCMs Supply chain for coatings in relation to metal packaging (source CEPE)

The annual turnover relevant to FCMs is estimated at EUR 400 million. The majority of this (95 %) is generated by the five large enterprises represented by CEPE, the remainder by the one small business that it represents (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Distribution of different types of enterprises represented by CEPE producing FCM varnishes and coatings for FCMs

Figure 3: Distribution of different types of enterprises represented by CEPE producing FCM varnishes and coatings for FCMs

Conversely, 2013 Pira data estimates EU FCM packaging coatings sales to be in the region of EUR 2 billion, split relatively evenly between coatings for metal packaging, paper and board and plastics. Pira also estimates that the SMEs make up to half of the revenue sales and is therefore not comparable with the data provided by CEPE, although the Pira data may also include printing inks (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Approximate annual turnover of different types of enterprises represented by CEPE producing varnishes and coatings for FCMs (total: EUR 400 million)

Figure 4: Approximate annual turnover of different types of enterprises represented by CEPE producing varnishes and coatings for FCMs (total: EUR 400 million)

Wax

Wax is a generic term for a range of natural or synthetic products that can be broadly divided into natural waxes, synthetic waxes, mineral hydrocarbon waxes and petroleum waxes. Waxes are usually defined by characteristic properties such as their melting point or viscosity. They can be used as additives or processing and production aids in many types of FCMs. They are also used as the sole or a predominant component of surface coatings. This is the case for instance of paraffin waxes, including synthetic paraffin, and/or micro-crystalline waxes and for mixtures of these waxes with each other and/or with plastics.

The European Wax Federation (EWF) represents manufacturers, formulators, importers and sellers of waxes. EWF has 31 members, including 22 full members, two for natural wax, one for soft petroleum, one affiliated and five associated members. Members account for about 80 % of the market. The overall production is approximately 500 000 tonnes/year, with 15 % used for FCMs. As regards the distribution of enterprises, 40-80 % of the members are large companies, 20-50 % are medium-sized and 5-10 % are small. No additional trade data was received.

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