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Ceramic Inks Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Product Type (Decorative Inks, and Functional Inks), By Technology (Digital Printing, and Analog Printing), By Formulation Technology (Solvent-based, Water-based, and Oil-based), By Application (Ceramic Tiles, Glass Printing, Food Container Printing, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI105521



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The global ceramic inks market size was USD 2.07 billion in 2020. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with ceramic inks witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a huge decline of 1.51% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 2.24 billion in 2021 to USD 3.66 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 7.3% during the 2021-2028 period. The sudden decline in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

The market is expected to be driven by building and construction activities. Ceramic ink is commonly used in ceramic tile printing for flooring and wall tiles, glass printing for building exterior and interior decoration, and printing on food containers for visual appeal. Furthermore, the increasing use of these inks in the automotive industry is expected to propel the market during the forecast period. The expansion of the food, beverage, cosmetics, and packaging industries is expected to fuel the growth of the market.

Lack of Availability of Raw Materials to Constraint the Market amid COVID – 19 Pandemic

COVID-19 wreaked havoc on China first, with the Chinese government effectively shutting down the various chemical industries in early 2020. As a result of these decisions, China's ink industry fared surprisingly well through the pandemic. Printing ink producers across Europe are showing a decreased supply of ethanol and n-propanol, according to the British Coatings Federation (BCF). These are essential ingredients in the manufacturing of printed packaging inks and other products, such as varnishes, which are then used to make consumer product packaging. Since ethanol, along with other synthetic alcohol solvents, such as n-propanol, is used in the manufacturing of disinfectants and sanitary goods, especially hand sanitizers, supply problems are emerging. As a result of COVID-19, there is an apparent rise in the demand for sanitary, medicinal, and pharmacy products.

Lockdowns enforced in many countries, along with the consequences of the global crisis, resulted in a double-digit fall in tile use (-15.9%) in Western Europe by 2020, according to Ceramica Info. Extensive closures to prevent the dissemination of COVID-19 are expected to have a detrimental impact on the building industry. Most building supplies are shipped from countries fighting COVID-19, many of which have shut down their factories in order to combat the pandemic. In the United States, a sharp drop in tile use is anticipated, taking the NAFTA region's expected contraction to -11.9 percent this year. This will be supplemented by a +4.3 percent increase in 2021, which will not be enough to make up for the deficits of 2020. In 2020, the global ceramic tile use was forecast to plummet by 9.7% from the previous year, followed by a partial rebound (+5.2%) in 2021.


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Increasing Demand for Drop-on-demand Inkjet Printers is a Vital Trend

Drop on Request Ink-Jet Printing (DOD-IJP) is quickly becoming the most common method of ceramic tile decoration. Several benefits of modern technologies are responsible for the fast and widespread use of inkjet printers. Rational ink management, non-contact decoration, the ability to print textured surfaces and high-quality images, and better control over the manufacturing line, inkjet printers helped save inventory and minimize costs. The invention of suspensions with acceptable characteristics and behaviours for inkjet printers played a vital role in this framework, and ink technology has been the gateway to digital printing's success.

Water-based structures are envisioned as a green substitute for ceramic tile decoration due to environmental restrictions. Aqueous suspensions, on the other hand, are impossible to handle since the physical properties of water are beyond the DOD-IJP operating range. Controlling the stability, homogeneity, and rheology of such water-based systems is thus critical for improving production efficiency. Controlling the stability, homogeneity, and rheology of such water-based systems is thus critical for improving production efficiency.


The Rapid and Widespread Diffusion of Digital Printers to Aid Market Growth

Inkjet printers are commonly used for printing applications and graphics purposes on a small scale. Due to their unique features for performing in industrial applications, these printers are now commercially usable in their production environments. Inkjet printing is quickly becoming the most common method for decorating ceramic tiles due to the widespread availability of digital printers. The potential of these printers for decoration on tile and ceramic items has been discovered over the last ten years. There have been important developments in printed design and ink forming. Because of its numerous advantages, such as simpler material handling, limitless decoration possibilities, extended and non-flat surfaces, and others, inkjet decoration has become the most common form of decoration.

Furthermore, inkjet printing is a non-contact decoration technique that eliminates the mechanical stress risks associated with unfired tiles. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Hardcopy Peripheral Tracker, 1Q2020, Epson has maintained its lead in the Indian inkjet printer market. It sold 810,269 inkjet printers in India in FY19 (April 2019 – March 2020), accounting for 46.07 percent of the demand by volume and 56.01 percent by value, according to the survey. Since 2017, Epson has been one of the world leaders in inkjet printing.

Initially, the inkjet printing machine was used on ceramic pieces as a portable unit in the design and advertising departments. This system has been used professionally to create high-quality trends in the industry in recent years. Liquid ceramic ink is sprayed on the required pieces using piezoelectric nozzles, and the organic matter is then dried and discharged before being cooked at a different temperature. The pigment and solvent are split into two sections of the optical print ink.

Growing Demand for Water-based Ceramic Inks to Drive the Market

Organic solvents that are relatively effective at securing the dispersion stability of hydrophobic ceramic pigments are used to make the inks that are currently being used for digital printing. However, there is an increasing interest in environmentally friendly inkjet printing materials that use water-based inks due to restrictions on the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in organic solvents and the life-shortening of inkjet heads caused by these solvents.

When added to an inkjet printing process, water-based environment-friendly ink with dispersion stability and strong jetting characteristics can be created using a nano-sized CoAl2O4 ceramic pigment. Water-based inks contain a significant amount of water, as well as an inorganic fraction and a small amount of organic matter. They have the characteristic of emitting a small number of volatile substances in the atmosphere when fired in the ceramic oven, virtually odorless, due to the decreased content of these organic substances in the composition and the typology of these chemical substances.

Finally, in early 2019, the Zschimmer & Schwarz Group announced the introduction of Aquaglaze, a research project aimed at producing new water-based digital glazes. The project was carried out in cooperation with Ferro, a world-leading manufacturer of ceramic frits, glazes, pigments, and inks, and it was a natural extension of Zschimmer & Schwarz's previous two ventures.


Small Color Palette of Ceramic Inks is Likely to Hinder the Market

One of the most significant disadvantages of these inks is the small color palette. As a result, ceramic decorators have trouble matching the exact Pantone colors and are unable to print certain colors entirely. Since the chromatic palette of these inks is much narrower than that of traditional pigments, color performance became a major concern. The solids loading was emphasized from the start, with input on physical properties (e.g., viscosity) and technical behaviors (e.g., particle agglomeration), since the volume of ink is limited by the form of the print head and tile velocity along the decoration path.

When printing on dark-colored mugs, the problem is exacerbated. Inkjet lighting has several drawbacks. To be jettable, for example, inks must have unique rheological properties (e.g., pigment particle diameter below 1 m, surface tension between 20 and 45 mN/m, etc.). Even if the density of pigments for digital inks is comparable to that of conventional pigments, the granulometric distribution is smaller, and modern methods, such as stirring, are no longer adequate to resolve sedimentation. Even if the density of pigments for digital inks is similar to that of traditional pigments, the granulometric distribution is lower, and common methods, such as stirring, are no longer sufficient to overcome sedimentation.


By Product Type Analysis

Decorative Inks Segment to Generate High Revenue

Based on the product, the ceramic inks market is segmented into decorative inks and functional inks.

Decorative inks segment held for the major ceramic ink market share of the global market in 2020. Glass printing, ceramic tile printing, and food bottle printing all use ceramic inks. These inks come in a wide range of colors and shades, including black, white, blue, brown, maroon, red, and more. Purple, blue, and brown pigment inks are in high demand. Decorative inks are in high demand for ceramic tile applications. Ceramics, glass, metal, and tiles are all treated with these inks to enhance their appearance.

By Technology Analysis

Digital Printing Segment to Lead Backed by Ability to Lower Inventory Costs

Based on the technology, the market is segmented into digital printing and analog printing.

The digital printing segment held the prime share of the market in 2020. The inks industry is shifting toward digital printing technology by fully replacing analog printing technology. Digital printing is quickly gaining traction in major markets. Ceramic decorators use this printer to print short runs, minimize inventory costs, and efficiently meet the evolving needs of the inks industry. It also enables decorators to adapt rapidly to a fast design changeover in response to the industry demand in order to meet customer needs.

By Formulation Technology Analysis

Solvent-based Segment to Account for Major Share

Based on the formulation technology, the market is classified into solvent-based, water-based, and oil-based.

In terms of revenue, the solvent-based segment held the prime share of the market in 2020. In the last decade, digital ceramic tile decoration has become a common and dynamic technology. Drop-on-demand (DOD) ink-jet print heads (IJP) are currently being used in printers and are fed with solvent-based inks containing ceramic pigments as coloring agents.

By Application Analysis

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Ceramic Tiles Segment to Hold a Significant Share in the Near Future

By application, the market is segmented into ceramic tiles, glass printing, food container printing, and others. The ceramic tiles segment held a significant share of the market in 2020. Ceramic tiles, which are used in the construction of houses, are printed with these inks. Rooms and bathrooms are often decorated with these tiles. Various patterns are printed on ceramic tiles using these inks. Water and a variety of other liquids are not a problem for these inks. As a result, they're often used to print on ceramic tiles. Ceramic inks are a viable alternative for embellishing glass. These inks, which are made up of fine glass particles and metal oxide pigments, have long been a popular alternative for glass printing.


Asia Pacific Ceramic Inks Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 0.831 billion in 2020. Rising infrastructure industry in Asia Pacific, the region has emerged as a major consumer. Ceramic tiles used in housing sectors are painted with ceramic inks. The product demand is projected to expand in India, China, and Southeast Asia during the forecast period.  The increased demand for ceramic tiles is expected to boost the market. Manufacturers are expanding their tile production potential, which is projected to fuel the demand for the market during the forecast period.

The North American market is expected to be driven by the construction industry in Canada, and the increased automobile production in the U.S. Rising construction and renovation industries, as well as the packaging industry in North America, is expected to drive the market.

The economic downturn in Western Europe is projected to slow down Europe's growth rate during the forecast period. Stagnant development in major industries, such as manufacturing, automotive, and packaging, is projected to be a major stumbling block for the regional market.

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The Middle East & Africa and Latin America's untapped markets have enormous potential and are projected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. The high demand from the ongoing infrastructural ventures undertaken by the government to flourish the tourism industry is likely to create opportunities for the market. Latin America is also projected to have a strong demand for ceramic tiles, owing to its developing building and construction sector, and this demand is expected to rise during the forecast period.


Key Companies to Conduct Research and Development Activities to Increase Their Market Presence

Ferro Corporation, Torrecid Group, ZSCHIMMER & SCHWARZ CHEMIE GMBH, Fritta, LAURIER ARCHITECTURAL, and Megacolor Ceramic Products are some of the major players in the global market. Major corporations are widening their reach in developing markets in order to strengthen their global presence and market share. These companies are operating primarily on the basis of product creation, color, texture variation, and service provided by digital channels to meet the needs of end-users. The majority of these industries contribute to the enhancement of their product portfolios through R&D operations.


  • Ferro Corporation (Ohio, U.S.)

  • Torrecid Group (Castellón, Spain)

  • ZSCHIMMER & SCHWARZ CHEMIE GMBH (Lahnstein, Germany)


  • Megacolor Ceramic Products (Castellón, Spain)

  • BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany)

  • FRITTA (Comunidad Valenciana, Spain)

  • Colorobbia Holding S.p.A (Gujarat, India)

  • Esmalglass-Itaca Grupo (Castellón, Spain)

  • Chromaline (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Electronics for Imaging, Inc. (California, U.S.)

  • sedak GmbH & Co. KG (Gersthofen, Germany)

  • SOLUTEC GLASS (Biscay, Spain)

  • Sun Chemical (New Jersey, U.S.)

  • Other Key Players


  • In December 2020, Tecglass introduced a new JETVER HA series of inks that are developed to provide high precision and durability. This professional ink line was created particularly for the home appliance sector. According to the company, the JETVER HA series provides limitless possibilities for making printed glass-ceramic ink patterns while retaining fine graphic clarity.  

  • In January 2021, Scientists at the University of New South Wales developed a ceramic-based ink that might enable the 3D printing of bone components with living cells. The special ink is made up of calcium phosphate. The scientists devised a novel technology called ceramic omnidirectional bio printing in cell-suspensions (COBICS) that allows them to print bone-like structures that harden in minutes when placed in water. This could be used to repair damaged bone tissues.

  • In March 2020, Azuliber, a tile manufacturer based in Spain, installed the first Electronics For Imaging (EFI) printer utilizing water-based inks as a beta unit. The printer is currently in use on Azuliber's regular production line. The company has successfully created products using innovative water-based inks, resulting in a flawless final product.


An Infographic Representation of Ceramic Inks Market

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The global ceramic inks market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on crucial aspects such as leading companies, products, and products. Also, it offers insights into market trends and highlights vital industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses various factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.

This report includes historical data & forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels, competitive landscape, and analyzes the industry's latest market dynamics and opportunities.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



  Value (USD Billion)


  Product Type; Technology; Formulation Technology; Application;   and By Region

By Product Type

  • Decorative Inks

  • Functional Inks

By Technology

  • Digital Printing

  • Analog Printing

By Formulation Technology

  • Solvent-based

  • Water-based

  • Oil-based

By Application

  • Ceramic Tiles

  • Glass Printing

  • Food Container Printing

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Product Type, By Technology, By Formulation Technology, By Application)

      • The U.S. (By Application)

      • Canada (By Application)

  • Europe (By Product Type, By Technology, By Formulation Technology, By Application)

      • Germany (By Application)

      • UK (By Application)

      • France (By Application)

      • Italy (By Application)

      • Spain (By Application)

      • Russia & CIS (By Application)

      • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Product Type, By Technology, By Formulation Technology, By Application)

      • China (By Application)

      • Japan (By Application)

      • India (By Application)

      • ASEAN (By Application)

      • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Latin America (By Product Type, By Technology, By Formulation Technology, By Application)

      • Brazil (By Application)

      • Mexico (By Application)

      • Rest of Latin America (By Application)

  • The Middle East & Africa (By Product Type, By Technology, By Formulation Technology, By Application)

      • GCC (By Application)

      • South Africa (By Application)

      • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 2.07 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.66 billion by 2028.

In 2020, the Asia Pacific market size stood at USD 0.831 billion.

Registering a CAGR of 7.3%, the market will exhibit steady growth during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The ceramic tiles segment is expected to lead this market during the forecast period.

The market is expected to be driven by the surging building and construction activities.

Ferro Corporation, Torrecid Group, ZSCHIMMER & SCHWARZ CHEMIE GMBH, Fritta, LAURIER ARCHITECTURAL, and Megacolor Ceramic Products are the major players in the global market.

Asia Pacific dominated the market in terms of share in 2020.

The increasing use in the automotive industry is expected to propel the market during the forecast period.

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