Fairfield Market Research Imaging Chemicals Market Size, Share, Growth, Trends 2030

Imaging Chemicals Market

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 - By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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Industry: Chemicals & Materials


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The approximately US$24 Bn market for imaging chemicals is expected to demonstrate a healthy growth outlook in the years to come. Sustained demand from healthcare, construction, and packaging industries will drive the market ahead.

Market Analysis in Brief

The rising need for imaging chemicals in a plethora of end-use sectors such as healthcare, packaging, and construction is expected to boost the imaging chemicals market. Rising adoption of new technologies to fulfil the consistently growing demand, and increased reliance on medical imaging technologies will also play out as the major driving forces for the market. The report closely analyses key growth indicators,

The increasing use of digital printing in textiles has influenced textile design and creation, which is projected to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Furthermore, industry trends for organic colour creation and eco-friendly printing techniques are likely to provide considerable market growth potential throughout the projection period.

Moreover, the usage of hyperspectral imaging for in-line inspection of raw materials and materials in the process to improve finished product quality and quantity is likely to drive market expansion over the forecast period.

Key Report Findings

  • The imaging chemicals market size was nearly US$24 Bn in 2022.
  • Growing use cases in healthcare, diagnostics, pharma, construction, and digital printing packaging continue to elevate the growth prospects for market.
  • The return of film-based imaging will favour market expansion.
  • Printing inks will be the leading application area.
  • Demand for imaging chemicals will be significantly high in printing and packaging sector.
  • Asia Pacific accounts for over 1/4th share of the overall market revenue while North America maintains dominance.

Market Drivers

Technological Shift to Digital and On-demand Printing

Digital printing is widely used around the world because of its quick turnaround time, great quality, lower printing costs for lesser quantities of printing, and ease of customisation. Though conventional printing is the most widely used printing technique, digital printing is likely to steal a considerable market share away from it throughout the projection period. This is expected to promote the growth of printing inks used in toners and ink cartridges during the projected period.

However, because of its low cost per print (for big volumes) and reliability for repeating printing, conventional printing technology is projected to be used for high volume printing applications such as newspaper and magazine printing.

Resurgence of Film-based Imaging

Digital imagery is rapidly displacing traditional film-based photography. Digital imaging has various advantages over film photography, including shorter turnaround time, faster developing time, and improved colour contrast. However, professional photographers' use of photographic films is likely to enhance demand for film-based photography.

Kodak, a leading manufacturer of photographic film, has relaunched their film product KODAK EKTACHROME, which is utilised in photography and motion picture applications. Photographic film sales have increased in recent years at leading photographic film manufacturers such as Kodak, Fujifilm, and Harman Technology. This resurgence of film-based photography is likely to stimulate demand for developers, stop bath solutions, fixers, and other photographic film developing chemicals.

There has been a growing trend among photographers, artists, and hobbyists to use film-based cameras and traditional darkroom techniques, which has led to an increase in demand for imaging chemicals such as film, paper, and developers. This trend is often referred to as the analogue renaissance.

In addition, there is still a significant demand for film-based imaging in the medical industry, particularly in developing countries where access to digital imaging technologies is limited. Film-based medical imaging technologies such as X-ray films, and mammography films are still widely used in many parts of the world.

The COVID-19 Impact

The influence of COVID-19 pandemic on the imaging chemicals market has been variable. When the industrial units stayed closed during the initial months of the coronavirus outbreak, the market saw a drop in the growth graph, which eventually stopped the manufacturing and production process. It also caused a disruption in the supply chain.

When demand from the healthcare industry began to emerge, imaging chemicals maintained a stable growth rate. The demand witnessed a surge in line with the growth in demand for healthcare services. Several other industry verticals have also been the important revenue contributors to the imaging chemicals industry and will continue to push the market growth curve up in the years to come.

Market Challenges

Increasing Digitisation

The growth of imaging chemicals has been affected by the digitisation of the imaging industry. The shift from film-based to digital imaging technologies has led to a decline in demand for imaging chemicals used in traditional photography. The emergence of digital cameras and smartphones with built-in cameras has made it easier for people to take and share photos instantly, reducing the need for printed photos. This has led to a decline in the demand for photographic chemicals such as film, paper, and developers.

In addition, the medical imaging industry has also been affected by the shift towards digital imaging technologies. Digital imaging technologies such as X-ray computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) have replaced traditional film-based imaging technologies, reducing the demand for imaging chemicals used in film processing.

However, the digitisation of the imaging industry has also created new opportunities for imaging chemicals. For example, the growing use of inkjet and other digital printing technologies has increased the demand for imaging chemicals used in digital printing.

Overview of Key Segments

Printing Inks Sector Top Application Segment

The market is divided into printing inks, image developers, and others. In 2021, the printing inks  sector had a significant share of the imaging chemicals market. Printing inks are used in traditional printing technologies such as offset, gravure, and screen printing, as well as digital printing technologies such as inkjets, and toner cartridges.

The expanding application in textile packaging, medical diagnostics, printing & packaging, and other industries can be linked to the segment's rise. Furthermore, a notable shift from printing technology to digital printing, as well as the increased need for imaging chemicals in the printing ink segment will drive the market ahead.

Printing and Packaging Category Dominates

The increased demand for medical imaging printing in the healthcare sector has led to the dominance of the printing and packaging category in the imaging chemicals market. Medical imaging printing, which is used to produce high-quality diagnostic images such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, is a critical component of modern healthcare.

The printing and packaging category includes a range of imaging chemicals such as toners, developers, and fixers that are used in digital printing technologies such as inkjet and laser printing. These technologies are widely used in the production of high-quality medical images for diagnosis, treatment planning, and research.

In addition to medical imaging, the printing and packaging category is also used in other industries such as advertising, packaging, and publishing. For example, imaging chemicals such as toners and inks are used in the production of high-quality advertising materials, packaging labels, and printed publications.

Market Opportunities

The alarming growth in the prevalence of cancers, as well as brain related conditions will create multiple opportunities for research and development, in turn for diagnostics. Imaging chemicals are thus most likely to discover a slew of business opportunities in the unprecedentedly soaring prevalence of cancers, and brain disorders. Besides, ample opportunity exists in pharmaceuticals, as well as digital printing packaging.

Increasing demand for medical imaging printing technology in healthcare is expected to unlock a host of revenue generation opportunities for the imaging chemicals market participants. More opportunities will appear on the horizon with the growing innovations around organic or sustainable colour printing technology. Emergence of newer imaging technologies like hyperspectral and 3D will create more opportunities in future.

Regional Coverage

North America Holds a Commanding Market Share

In terms of imaging chemicals and materials usage, North America has been a prominent market. The medical and printing sectors account for the region's highest market share. The existence of highly advanced healthcare technologies in the country and rising consumer healthcare spending are driving the imaging chemicals and materials market in the United States.

Expanding availability of improved healthcare technology, combined with rising consumer healthcare spending, is increasing the demand for imaging chemicals and materials in this region. By far, the most developed industry in the United States is the medical device sector.

According to Health Affairs, the healthcare industry's average annual growth rate is projected to reach around 5.5 percent in the United States from 2018 to 2027. This, in turn, is supposed to raise demand for medical devices. Therefore, the demand in imaging chemicals industry will also rise high over the forecast period.

The medical device industry in the United States is by far one of the most advanced in the world. The growing senior population and increased need for medical facilities for the treatment of chronic diseases have aided the sector's expansion. Moreover, the imaging chemical market in the United States is quite profitable. The existence of modern technology and highly skilled personnel who are continually engaged in research and development distinguishes the country.

Asia Pacific Sets for the Fastest Growth

Over the projected period, Asia Pacific is expected to experience the fastest growth. It controls more than 23% of the total revenue of the imaging chemicals market. Emerging economies in the region, such as India, China, and North Korea have experienced rapid economic expansion.

The demand across this region demand has been boosted by an increasing elderly population, and the rising living standards. Consumers' increasing disposable income is allowing them the access to expensive medical services.

Key Players in Imaging Chemicals Industry

A few of the players in the worldwide imaging chemicals market space include-

  • Flint Group
  • Fujifilm
  • DIC Corp.
  • Vivimed Labs
  • T&K Toka
  • The Eastman Kodak Company
  • Sakata Inx
  • Toyo Ink SC
  • Siegwerk Druckfarben

Key Developments

  • In February 2018, Sun Chemical, and its parent company, DIC CORPORATION, bought Luminescence Holdings Ltd., a UK-based manufacturer of cash, tax stamps, passports, ID cards, and brand protection inks for the security industry.
  • In May 2018, Vivimed Labs Spain S.L. announced the acquisition of SONEAS, a firm focused on the innovation and fine chemical sectors.
  • In January 2022, a team at the University of California, Berkeley, entered a collaboration with Biotium eyeing the development of a new approach for the optimisation of the photo-switching behaviour of rhodamine dyes. While the research targeted optimum performance of the dye, the two newly developed dyes showed photo-switching sensitisation to a remarkable extent.
  • In May 2023, a team of scientists at the University of Michigan, together with the scientists working at two universities of Italy, ventured into a study to demonstrate how high-resolution imaging chemicals can be potentially helpful in cancer therapy. The imaging system makes use of special nanoparticles that are capable of providing a real-time chemical map. This would be an extraordinary aid in identification of the distribution of imaging chemicals in the tumour, as well as further in the cancer therapy recommendation.

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Considering the volatility of business today, traditional approaches to strategizing a game plan can be unfruitful if not detrimental. True ambiguity is no way to determine a forecast. A myriad of predetermined factors must be accounted for such as the degree of risk involved, the magnitude of circumstances, as well as conditions or consequences that are not known or unpredictable. To circumvent binary views that cast uncertainty, the application of market research intelligence to strategically posture, move, and enable actionable outcomes is necessary.

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