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Kenya’s paint market to recover from 2021 onwards: Rao

Photo Caption: Mr. Rakesh Rao, Chief executive of Crown Paints Plc.

Demand for paint and coatings is forecast to recover from 2021 onwards and gains will be driven by strong rebound in construction activities – which will in turn stimulate the demand in the architectural market.

As a result, experts predict that manufacturers will adopt new environmentally friendly, low VOC paint and coating products to meet stricter government regulations and changing consumer tastes.

“Despite the challenges of low raw material availability and price fluctuations, Kenya and Tanzania markets are expected to grow positively due to rising urbanization in both countries. Additionally, the rising purchasing power of the citizens is expanding the middle class demographic, which, in turn, is creating a need for more residential and commercial buildings – the main end users of decorative paints and coatings,” reads in part a recently released report by Frost & Sullivan’s Decorative Paints and Coatings Market for Kenya and Tanzania, Forecast to 2020.

The report further found that the total market size stood at 66.2-million litres in 2015, and this is expected to hit 91.5-million litres by 2020 and well over 20-million litres in 2021 at a time when Crown Paints, Basco Paints, and Insignia currently dominating the market, while Sadolin Paints and Goldstar Paints trying to expand their shares.

That demand according to the Chief executive of Crown Paints Rakesh Rao, will also be heightened by the residential improvement and repair market which he believes will provide the majority of demand gains as consumer spending power rises and homeowners undertake more home improvement projects.

“We lost the second quarter but we think we are going to do better for the remainder of the year. Commercial aspect is not doing well but the residential market is really doing well,” he says, adding that the hotel and tourism industry will also pick up especially from next month all through to 2021 on expected repairs and renovations of hotel establishments that had been abandoned because of closures and layoffs brought by the pandemic.

Kenya’s tourism sector was one of the worst hit sectors by the pandemic but the mood has significantly changed with domestic holiday business revamping after lifting of restrictions on inter-county travel since July and further lifting of other precincts in August.

Indeed, several hotels particularly in the coast circuit have seen an uptick in local tourist numbers, while attractions in other parts of the country continue to report more arrivals by car, train and local aircraft which could also be advanced by looming December holidays – typically good period for the sector.

“We are already seeing increased orders for repainting from big hotel brands like Serena and this is clearly a good sign for the industry,” said Rao.

The new residential paint market, according to the report will post the fastest growth through 2020 as new housing construction continues to recover from the novel coronavirus pandemic whose impacts continue to be felt.

“The Kenyan market outpaced the Tanzanian market in 2015, primarily due to its more suitably established manufacturing industry and development of ports to facilitate raw material imports. On the other hand, the lower maturity of the paint manufacturing industry in Tanzania has eased the entry barriers for potential participants,” said Frost & Sullivan Visionary Science research analyst Ashley Arumero.

The sector is one of the key sectors being targeted by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his BIG Four Agenda recently underscored the importance of the housing and construction sector in the post Covid-19 recovery plans.

“The affordable housing agenda should remain front and center in the economic recovery debate due to the need to provide decent housing and essential infrastructure to all residents,” he said. 

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