The worldwide Phenolic Resins Market was valued at USD 12.04 billion in 2017 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% from 2018 to 2026. Phenolic resin is a common name for phenol-formaldehyde resin and is a thermosetting plastic used in wide array of end-use applications. Molding compounds, forest products, and abrasives are among some of the most significant applications for the phenolic resins.
Phenolic resin was the first synthetic polymer to be commercialized and is still a very significant industrial polymer. The demand for phenolic resin is also driven by the growth in the downstream sector of phenol, which is a raw material for phenolic resins. Improved operating rates of existing phenol plants were witnessed across the world in 2017, with significantly delayed capacity additions that were expected in 2017.
North America Phenolic Resins Market Share by Application, 2017-2026
Note: Inside circle depicts data for 2017 & outside circle depicts data for 2026
Global phenolic resins market is mainly driven by its usage in wood adhesives and molding compounds. Wood adhesives have witnesses growth on account of increased demand of laminated veneer, plywood, and other wood composites. Rising demand for modern & innovative furniture & decor has led to increased consumption of wood, adhesives, and phenolic resins. Phenolic resins are used in wood adhesives as bonding adhesives where high heat performance and durability are required.
Construction industry also makes use of phenolic resins in substantially larger volumes. Phenolic resins are used on account of their versatile application such as excellent thermal, behavior, high strength level, mechanical & long-term thermal stability, excellent smoke, fire, and low toxicity characteristics, superior thermal & electrical insulating capabilities, and excellent cost performance characteristics.
North America Phenolic Resins Market by End-Use, 2017 - 2026
The phenolic resin industry is subjected to regulatory framework, that might appear to be a very serious restraint for the market in the near future with the advent of bio-based substitutes. Phenolic resins are derivatives of phenol, which has petrochemical products as the feedstock and is known to have environmental impact. Thus, there are several agencies such as REACH, the European Phenolic Resins (EPRA) Association, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulating the value chain through raw material procurement and manufacturing processes.
Novolac and resol are the two major type of phenolic resins, where other types include bio-phenolic resins, cresol, and few more. Novolac is the dominant product type for the global phenolic resin market. This type of phenolic resin is manufactured both in continuous and batch process and are generally produced as solids, whereas resols are produced as solids and liquids. Resols are expected to witness rapid growth on account of their applications in abrasives, fiber bonding, and foamed plastics.
On the basis of applications, phenolic resins are segmented into molding compounds, wood adhesives, insulation, lamination, construction materials, paper impregnation, coatings, and few other minor applications. Wood adhesives is likely to be the largest application segment, with lamination and insulation being the fastest ones.
Asia Pacific is estimated to have the highest consumption of phenolic resins. This is on account of rapidly growing construction and electrical & electronics industry in numerous countries of the region. The demand for wood products and adhesives used in those products is strongly determined by the health of construction industry. Thus, the consumption rate of phenolic resin is much higher in the region.
In most parts of the world, phenolic resins include fibrous & granulated wood products and plywood as the largest markets. Based on this phenomenon North America and Europe are also mature regional markets and hold a wider growth prospect concerning technological and materials developments.
Global phenolic resin industry is moderately competitive with large number of multinationals across the value chain. Some of key phenolic resin market players include BASF SE, Momentive Specialty Chemicals, Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd, SI Group, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., DIC Corporation, and Sumitomo Bakelite Co, Ltd.