By Liz White, UT staffLondon-Upgrades in coatings formulations in the Chinese market mean wider opportunities for suppliers of additives for paints, according to market research group Frost & Sullivan. China is following the slow but steady shift in Europe and the US away from solvent-based paints and coatings to water-based or high-solid coatings, the report says.F&S comments that this "augurs well for the paint additives market, since more additives with various functions will be required to compensate for the reduced amount of solvent applied." Since the top ten global coating manufacturers went into China with both their traditional formulations and high-grade as well as high-performance coatings, their Chinese counterparts have been encouraged to increase the use of additives. Additive volume have increased, but also their technologies and functions have been extended, the market researcher says. F&S predicts that the tremendous rise in the coatings production is "very likely" to result in an increase in use of paint additives. In 2004, the Chinese paint market had nearly 8000 coatings producers, making nearly 3.8 million tonnes of product. Demand for all additives has therefore risen correspondingly-rheology modifiers, preservatives, dispersants and wetting, flow/levelling and flatting, foam control, driers and catalysts, and film-forming agents. F&S feels China's booming economy will drive rising use of coating and hence, additives, with the forthcoming Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Shanghai Expos 2010 "expected to give a further fillip to the Chinese economy." "These events have enormous potential influence on many aspects in various industries, including the coatings market-especially decorative coatings," said Louise Zhao, Research Analyst with Frost & Sullivan, in a news release. (http://chemicalsandmaterials.frost.com). "Since many huge projects have to be undertaken for these events, it will facilitate the rapid expansion of the decorative coatings market." The Chinese Government may set limits for VOC levels in coatings on furniture and indoor decoration, said F&S, "which will hasten the shift towards water-based coatings." A new F&S report B604 on the "Chinese Paint Additives Markets," is available. For more information visit www.frost.com/"