The global formaldehyde market is predicted to augment at a significant CAGR over the forecast period; the estimated value for 2020 was accounted to be US$19.944 billion.
Formaldehyde is a quite simple and naturally occurring chemical composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. Its chemical formula is CH2O or HCHO. The chemical holds importance in being one of the most versatile substances for producing various goods, with important applications in the construction and automotive industries. The growing construction industry with varied commercial and residential projects is fueling the market demand during the forecast period. However, the current novel coronavirus pandemic crisis has put a hard hit on the global chemical sector along with the shutdown of many construction activities worldwide. This impacted the market growth in 2020. However, with the recovery in the end-use industries, the market is predicted to propel itself till the end of the forecast period. Based on geography, the market is segmented as North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific region is projected to hold a significant market share, followed by the European region in the forecast period.
Formaldehyde is known to have excellent adhesive and binding properties; hence, it is widely utilized for making resins. These resins are then used for the production of wood products that are employed for making furniture.
Other applications of formaldehyde include the preservation of tissue specimens in biology labs; also they help preserve the shape of the specimen; it is also utilized for the production of sanitary paper products like paper towels and tissues, and it is also used in the development of photography film among other applications.
However, concerns regarding formaldehyde being hazardous to human health are posing a threat in impeding the market growth during the forecast period.
The utilization of formaldehyde as a disinfectant in the agriculture industry is burgeoning the market demand during the forecast period.
Formaldehyde, in the form of disinfectant, is used in the poultry industry in hatcheries. Formaldehyde solutions as germicides are used to kill bacteria, viruses, and mould to reduce contamination. Additionally, the chemical in different formulations is utilized in slow-release fertilizers. Companies such as Hexion offer formaldehyde formulations like formaldehyde derivatives and urea-formaldehyde for these fertilizers. Products include formaldehyde 52% solution, formaldehyde 50% solution, and urea-formaldehyde concentrate. Thus, with the manufacturing of slow-release fertilizers that provide a sustainable supply of nutrition to plants for an extended time period, the market is projected to grow at a significant pace during the forecast period. The use of fertilizers is mainly supported by the growing global population with the surging global food demand for enhancing crop yield. As per the World Bank, the global population was estimated to grow from 7.17 billion in 2013 to 7.674 billion in 2019.
As per the European Union predictions, the total population of the world is predicted to remain the main driver of the global food demand. In addition, the per capita consumption has also significantly increased. This is mainly attributed to the facilitation via trade, where the per capita consumption has surged faster than the growing population. The growing income resulting in the consumption of food products that are of high quality is gaining popularity. The change in consumption patterns has been observed with time, along with the changing consumer preferences resulting from societal habits, health concerns, and concerns regarding environmental and climate change issues. The consumption of meat and dairy products has also gained momentum with time in the developing economies of the world with the rise in income. Due to environmental concerns, a decline in the consumption of meat, specifically red meat, has been observed in the regions of Asia and Africa. However, the growth remained stable in the European Union and South American regions, whereas, in North America, the growth was bolstered.
The presence of companies offering formaldehyde-based products, along with strategic partnerships for formaldehyde projects, is fueling the market growth during the forecast period.
Hexion Inc. is a pioneer in producing formaldehyde-based resins for the forest products industry in the North American region. The company further announced holding significant positions in the regions of Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The company’s formaldehyde-based resins are an important adhesive and binding ingredient that is utilized for the production of a wide variety of engineered lumber commodities. The products include medium-density fiberboard, particleboard, oriented strand board, varied types of plywood, and laminated veneer lumber. The product has numerous applications in the construction, furniture, and remodelling industries. Furthermore, the company offers formaldehyde as a crucial ingredient for the manufacturing of chemicals and products that include methylene diphenyl diisocyanate and butanediol. The company’s formaldehyde products find applications in the agriculture, energy, and automotive industries as well. As forest products and formaldehyde have a short shelf life, the manufacturing capabilities of the company are strategically based in close proximity to the customers.
Dynea, situated in Norway, is a specialist manufacturer of wood adhesives. The company is a pioneer with a strong production footprint in Europe. The company offers formaldehyde under the speciality adhesive and polymers section. Formaldehyde is available in a wide range of concentrations and quality grades. The product is produced in the form of an intermediate item.
Furthermore, the presence of companies collaborating on formaldehyde production projects is further providing an impetus to fueling the market growth during the forecast period. In 2019, Clariant announced a partnership with Wuxi Xiyuan for two novel projects to supply their combined formaldehyde production technology. The new contracts aim to increase the number of customers that use Clariant’s state-of-the-art technology to six in a brief period. The fast rise in demand is attributed to the technology’s higher efficiency and selectivity in comparison to the conventional method of formaldehyde production that is based on silver.
The innovative solution is deployed by the Wuxi Xiyuan in its three formaldehyde plants situated in China and India. The fourth plant ready to use the technology is poised to be installed in China, Jiangsu province. The operation was poised to start in Q2 2019. The predicted annual capacity of formaldehyde is around 240 kilotons.
Concerns regarding the hazardous health effects of formaldehyde are predicted to impede market growth during the forecast period.
Formaldehyde is known to have significant adverse health effects on humans. The chemical is a well-regulated substance. Still, health agencies continue to evaluate its safety. For example, the World Health Organization and International Agency for Research on Cancer, along with the National Toxicology Program that lies within the United States Department of Health and Human Services, filed formaldehyde as a carcinogen. The EPA, under its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), unveiled a draft of a toxicological review of formaldehyde in 2010. This stated that the chemical fulfils the criteria described as carcinogenic to humans. The draft IRIS toxicological review was evaluated by the National Academy of Sciences, and a report in April 2011 was issued. This criticized the IRIS review on formaldehyde toxicology, further stating that the methodologies and underlying science in the draft do not provide a clear conclusion that there is a causal link between formaldehyde exposure and leukaemia and would further require a risk evaluation. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) classified formaldehyde as a category 2 mutagen on 1st January 2016. It also rejected its reclassification as a category 1A carcinogen. Hence, it is quite possible that novel regulatory requirements could be put forward on a wide scale to limit exposure to formaldehyde in humans. The companies in the formaldehyde business would require to incur high costs for meeting such regulatory requirements leading to a reduction in demand for formaldehyde-based products. Besides, the additional costs and reduction in demand would, in turn, have an adverse effect on the companies’ operations and profitability. Hence, causing an impact on hampering the market growth during the forecast period.
As per the EPA, there have been the highest levels of airborne formaldehyde detected in indoor air. This is known to be released through various consumer products like building materials and home furnishings. The source of higher levels of formaldehyde is reported from novel manufactured or mobile homes compared to traditional homes. The major sources reported are power plants, manufacturing units, exhaust emissions coming from automobiles, and incinerators. In addition, it has been reported by the EPA that smoking is an important source of formaldehyde. Several acute and chronic effects of formaldehyde have been noticed. These include toxic effects caused by the chemical through inhalation, including eye, nose, throat and nasal cavity irritation. The effects observed on inhalation are coughing, chest pains, wheezing, and bronchitis. Formaldehyde, when ingested, results in the corrosion of the gastrointestinal tract and inflammation. Mouth ulcers, ulcers of the oesophagus, and stomach are also reported. On the other hand, the non-cancer chronic effects of formaldehyde include eye, nose, and throat irritation. Continuous contact with liquid formaldehyde solutions has led to causing skin irritation and allergic contact dermatitis in human beings. Developmental and reproductive effects were also observed in female workers using formaldehyde resins.
Due to the varied and advantageous chemical characteristics of formaldehyde, the market has reported various developments in the sector.
Clariant, a pioneering speciality chemical company, announced in a press release dated 7th May 2019, that it will collaborate on two new projects with Wuxi Xiyuan, its engineering partner, to deliver their combined formaldehyde manufacturing technology. Wuxi Xiyuan deployed the unique technology in three formaldehyde factories in China and India, which is based on Clariant's high-performance FAMAX 200 DS catalyst. In China's Jiangsu province, the fourth factory that will utilize the technology will be built. With a projected annual capacity of 240 kilotons of formaldehyde, it was scheduled to start operations in the second quarter of 2019.
According to a news report released by Johnson Matthey on 13th November 2020, for their high-pressure formaldehyde technology, FORMOXTM2.0, Johnson Matthey, a global pioneer in sustainable solutions, won the Industry Project Award at the year’s IChemE Global Awards. With fairly modest equipment changes, the FORMOX 2.0 high-pressure formaldehyde process can run at a 33% greater capacity, resulting in cheap capital investment and minimum feedstock or energy usage compromise. Johnson Matthey (JM) won one of three honours at the IChemE awards ceremony, which had more than 100 competitors vying in different categories.
Impact of COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on a number of organizations. As a consequence of the closure of most major industries, the global economy has been on a declining trend. The formaldehyde industry was also affected by the outbreak. Major end-use industries such as automotive, and construction were shut down at a global level, which negatively impacted the growth of the market. The market was faced with severe shortages in labour and resources as a result of the interruption of most major supply and production lines. Furthermore, since formaldehyde is predominantly utilized in the agriculture sector, it resulted in a reduction in agricultural productivity.
However, formaldehyde is also utilized in the manufacture of hard-gel capsules, vaccinations, and medicines, which has increased demand for the substance. Also, as countries around the world have started to relax their COVID-19 protocols, the global formaldehyde market is anticipated to rise substantially.
|Market size value in 2020||US$19.944 billion|
|Growth Rate||CAGR of during the forecast period|
|Forecast Unit (Value)||USD Billion|
|Segments covered||Industry Vertical, Distribution Channel, And Geography|
|Regions covered||North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific|
|Companies covered||Dynea AS, Johnson Matthey, Foremark Performance Chemicals, Hexion Inc., Alder S.p.A, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, Perstorp Holding AB, Celanese Corporation, BASF SE, Sprea Misr, Balaji Formalin Private Limited, Mansoura for Resins & Chemical Industries Co. (MRI), Wuxi Xiyuan Engineering Technology Co., Ltd., Kronoplus Limited, Oman Formaldehyde Chemical Company LLC (OFCC)|
|Customization scope||Free report customization with purchase|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is the size of the global formaldehyde market?
A1. The global formaldehyde market was valued at US$19.944 billion in 2020.
Q2. Who are the major players in the formaldehyde market?
A2. Prominent key market players in the formaldehyde market include Dynea AS, Johnson Matthey, Foremark Performance Chemicals, Hexion Inc., Alder S.p.A, and Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, among others.
Q3. How is the global formaldehyde market segmented?
A3. The global formaldehyde market has been segmented by industry vertical, distribution channel, and geography.
Q4. What factors are anticipated to drive the formaldehyde market growth?
A4. The growing construction industry with varied commercial and residential projects is fueling the formaldehyde market growth during the forecast period.
Q5. Which region holds the largest market share in the formaldehyde market?
A5. The Asia Pacific region is projected to hold a significant share in the formaldehyde market.
Foremark Performance Chemicals
Perstorp Holding AB
Balaji Formalin Private Limited
Mansoura for Resins & Chemical Industries Co. (MRI)
Wuxi Xiyuan Engineering Technology Co., Ltd.
Oman Formaldehyde Chemical Company LLC (OFCC)
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