Supply in the Kuwaiti paints industry is marked by both local manufacturing and imports. Segments such as decorative and powder coatings have substantial presence of local manufacturers while other segments rely on imports to meet the local demand.
Within decorative coatings, imports account for one-third of the total supply. Among domestic manufacturers, GTC is the largest in terms of volume and value. Other key local producers include KPC, Hempel, and Al Matrooq. Sigma and Jotun import paints from their production units in Oman, the KSA, and the UAE. For wood coatings, major participants are National, Flora, and Renox, most of which are imported from the KSA. Protective coatings supply is marked by the presence of global MNCs such as International, Hempel, and Jotun. Powder coatings supply is marked by the presence of global companies such as Jotun and AkzoNobel as well as Middle East–based participants such as Intercoat, National, and Alwan. Auto refinish coatings supply is dominated by global participants such as PPG and Axalta, while regional participant KAPCI also has a significant presence. The marine coatings market in Kuwait is highly consolidated, with the top two companies accounting for 85% of the market.
With regard to sales channel, direct selling continues to be dominant. However, within decorative segments, the share of retail channel sales has surpassed that of projects because of the slowdown in number of large-scale construction projects. For wood coatings, large joineries and furniture manufacturers are the key end users. Value chain for protective coating in Kuwait is similar to the rest of the GCC countries. Contractors within major end-use segments play a crucial role in protective coatings sale. Role of traders and distributors is minimal, largely limited to the generic variants of protective coatings like the ones used in architecture and infrastructure. Direct selling is the key channel for the sale of powder coating products in Kuwait. Auto refinish coatings are sold directly to body shops through authorized dealership across Kuwait. In terms of consumer trends, for decorative coatings, interior coatings are dominated by plain appearance, with special effects having negligible share. The market is dominated by medium segment products. For wood coatings, nitrocellulose coatings systems are dominant in Kuwait, as ease of usage and economical prices are driving their sale. Water-based wood coatings are gaining some market share in Kuwait. They are used for interiors and exterior segments and renowned for low VOC content. Protective coatings are primarily used in the oil and gas sector. The sector uses various coating systems, with corrosion, chemical, and high temperature resistance as the key functionalities. KNPC and KOC approvals are mandatory for gaining market share. Major end users for powder coatings are aluminum extrusion and switchgear companies. The industrial segment is the largest holding 44% of the market share and will drive the demand in the segment. Within the automotive industry, the majority of cars are made out of solid paints. They use solid nonmetallic colors and constitute the 2K segment for refinish coatings. 2K system is renowned for its high glossy durable finish. Although premium Class A body shop segment is dominant, the economy Class C segment is expanding and should be of high focus.
Marine coatings focus is mainly on coastal sea vessels. In the absence of local ship building and maintenance industry, the marine coatings demand potential is expected to be low.
The paints industry in Kuwait is expected to witness 2% to 4% growth by 2022. Segments such as decorative and protective will be on the higher side of the growth range (3.5% to 4%), while segments such as powder, auto refinish, and wood coatings will experience growth in the 2.5% to 3% range.