Ink is a complex aqueous medium that is composed of solvents, pigments, dyes, resins, lubricants, solubilizes, surfactants, particulate matter, fluorescents, and other materials. Each of these components of inks serve many purpose such as the ink carrier, colorants, and other additives affect the flow and thickness of the ink and its dry appearance. The specialty inks are the special purpose inks that are intended to fulfil needs of the distinguished applications which can be hardly served by their counterpart. The product is majorly used to print the substrates such as paper, composites, metal foils to impart a design, or draw a high importance or confidential text on it. These types of inks are either available in the form of thick paste or liquid, in the market. Thicker inks are primarily used in letterpress and lithographic printing and the thinner form is applied on the substrate by using a pen, brush, or quill. There are various applications wherein the specialty inks have successfully penetrated so far such as security printings, cheque printing, fluorescent that catches attention, metallic shade inks, and carbon copy paper printing ink, among others. According to the leading research organizations, the global printing ink market for packaging is estimated to grow at significant growth rate of 6% due to surging global demand for the label packaging, which provides nutritive and product information. At present, with the rising cases of document breaching, forgery, counterfeit, and fake branding, the demand for the specialty inks is projected to rise manifolds. However, there are some factors that hamper growth of the market such as the fluctuations in the crude oil prices, cost intensive nature of new technologies and shift from traditional to digital market.   

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Market Segmentation:

The global specialty ink market is broadly segmented on the basis of type, resin type, application, and region. On the basis of type, the global specialty resin market is divide into thermochromic and photochromic. Thermochromic type of specialty inks are heat sensitive in nature which changes its color when exposed to heat. This segment is projected to hold major share of the market over the forecast period due to its substantial applications in safety & security of confidential documents. Both thermochromic and photochromic type of specialty inks have great potential in protection of documents form forgery, counterfeit, duplications and also from the fake validation of brand.

Based on the resin type, the market is categorized into modified resin, acrylic, cellulose, polyamide, polyurethane, hydrocarbon, and others. Among these types, the modified resin segment is the largest one owing to the flexibility of application and ease of operation offered by this type of specialty ink. Additionally, there is a rise in research activities in this resin type to develop innovative inks to meet ever increasing scope of applications in this market.

By application, the global specialty ink market is classified into printing & publication, flexible packaging, safety & security, entertainment, and others. Among these applications, printing & publication segment is dominating the market on account of greater demand of flexible packaging, surging trend of super market shopping and vast spread print media. In coming years, the safety & security segment is anticipated to grow at considerable rate on the backdrop of rising demand for the product to protect the integrity of security institutions.

Regional Analysis:

There are five major regions in which the global specialty ink market is divided into: Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific is set to dominate the market. It held over 35% share of the market, as of 2016. The region is anticipated to remain dominant in both production and demand of specialty ink. Growing consumer awareness and favoring regulatory trends in this region are driving growth of the market during the forecast period. India, Japan, South Korea and China are the leading markets in this region. North America is holding the second largest share of the market. The U.S is anticipated to hold the maximum share in this market, which is attributed to the presence of major market players and substantial end users such as foods & beverages and packaging industry. Europe is following North America in terms of market size, with Germany, the U.K and France holding considerable share of the market. This region is witnessing a growth due to some strategic initiatives on part of regulatory agencies. The Middle East & Africa is a swiftly growing market where the growth is driven by the demand from foods & beverages and tourism industry. Latin America is anticipated to witness a rise in the regional market due to the pacifying political and reviving economic situation.

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Competitive Analysis:

Key players in the global polyurethane catalyst market are IIMAK (U.S.), Sun Chemical (U.S.), Toyo Ink International Corp., (U.S.), TOKYO PRINTING INK MFG CO.,LTD. (Japan), DAIHANINK Co., Ltd. (South Korea), Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA (Germany), Huber Group Holding SE (Germany),  Bordeaux Digital PrintInk Ltd. (Israel), T&K TOKA Corporation (Japan), and Royal Dutch Printing Ink Factories Van Son (The Netherlands), among others.