Formaldehyde Market: Introduction

In terms of value, the global formaldehyde market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~4% from 2021 to 2031 and cross US$ 15 Bn by 2031. The usage of formaldehyde in the production of resins has been rising. Formaldehyde-based resins are used in a wide range of applications. In terms of volume, Asia Pacific dominated the global formaldehyde market in 2020. It is estimated to lead the global formaldehyde market during the forecast period, owing to the increase in demand for formaldehyde in various end-use industries, including automotive and building & construction. The rise in the demand for resins in building & construction, automotive, and chemical sectors is expected to be a major factor driving the global formaldehyde market.

Formaldehyde Market: Major Drivers

Formaldehyde-based resins, such as urea formaldehyde resins, are excellent adhesives that play an integral role in the construction sector. They are used in furniture applications in the production of particleboards and wood panels. Formaldehyde-based resins help bind wood chips and sawdust to create engineered wood products, which are durable, cost-effective, and high performance alternatives to solid wood. Therefore, increase in demand for formaldehyde in construction and furniture sectors is expected to boost the formaldehyde market. Formaldehyde is also used as an intermediate to produce other chemicals, such as butanediol, which is further employed to produce tetrahydrofuran. Tetrahydrofuran is used as a solvent for vinyl resins. The rise in usage of formaldehyde as a chemical intermediate is expected to propel the demand for formaldehyde during the forecast period.

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Stringent Regulatory Norms Likely to Hamper Market

Various countries across the globe have imposed stringent regulatory norms to check formaldehyde emissions from a vast range of products. Formaldehyde is produced in large scale across the globe; however, rise in concerns over the adverse effects of the product on human health has prompted regulatory bodies to impose restrictions on its usage. The fluctuation in prices of raw materials, primarily methanol, is anticipated to impact the market. The market is vulnerable to changes in the methanol production. Methanol is produced from synthesis gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen), which is derived from oil, coal, or biomass. This, in turn, is expected to hamper the market over the next few years.

Increase in Demand for Formaldehyde in End-use Industries to Offer Lucrative Opportunities

Rise in urbanization, increase in population, and positive developments in regional economic conditions are projected to drive the demand for houses in the near future. This is expected to boost the demand for wood-based panels. These factors are anticipated to augment the formaldehyde market, as formaldehyde-based resins are used to produce wood-based panels. The increase in the demand for formaldehyde in automotive, chemical, and personal care & cosmetic sectors due to its excellent adhesive and binding properties is also projected to drive the market during the forecast period.

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Asia Pacific Dominates Formaldehyde Market

Asia Pacific is expected to be a highly attractive region of the market during the forecast period. With its rapidly growing population, Asia Pacific is projected to contribute significantly to the global building & construction industry, in terms of value sales, thereby propelling the formaldehyde market. Formaldehyde is used in construction of wood-based panels and manufacturing of furniture. Europe and North America cumulatively held 33.8% share of the global market in 2018. The two regions are anticipated to lose market share by 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively, by the end of the forecast period. The decline in the market share can be ascribed to the increase in the number of regulations on the usage of formaldehyde in these regions.

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Resins Held Major Share of Formaldehyde Market in 2018

Based on application, the resins segment held major share of the global formaldehyde market in 2018. Formaldehyde is extensively used to produce resins such as urea formaldehyde resin, phenol formaldehyde resin, and melamine formaldehyde resin. Formaldehyde-based resins are employed in the textile industry to help bind dyes and pigments to fabrics. Formaldehyde is used in the production of UF and PF resins. These resins are widely used in furniture and construction sectors, due to their adhesive strength and moisture resistance.

Top Three Companies Hold Prominent Share

Prominent players operating in the global formaldehyde market are BASF SE, Hexion Inc., PJSC Metafrax, and Ercros S.A.  The top three companies accounted for more than one-fourth market share in 2020. In May 2017, Hexion Inc. launched a new product called EcoBind ONE, a formaldehyde scavenger product, to free formaldehyde and eliminate the emission of formaldehyde during the manufacture of panel boards. Ercros S.A.’s annual production capacity for formaldehyde and paraformaldehyde stands at 700 kilo tons and 115 kilo tons, respectively. BASF SE’s production capacity for formaldehyde stands at 750 kilo tons per annum.

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Competition Landscape of Formaldehyde Market

Key manufacturers operating in the global formaldehyde market include Celanese Corporation, Perstorp Group, BASF SE, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, Alder S.p.A, Dynea AS, Hexion, Foremark Performance Chemicals, Johnson Matthey, Pörner Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH., Simalin Chemicals Industries Limited, Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd., Balaji Formalin Private Limited,  Atul Ltd, and Sprea Misr.