The global phenolic resins market size was valued at USD 9.30 billion in 2015 and is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 5.4% from 2016 to 2025. High demand for friction materials & rubber in the transportation sector has generated considerable interest in lightweight & durable phenolic compounds, fostering industry growth.
Phenols, formaldehyde and other cross-linking agents are processed using catalysts, to obtain two major products including novolacs & resols, which differ vastly in their properties & applications. The impetus towards provision of greater quality products in order to retain customer loyalty has also led to intensive R&D in this field to develop new products & processes.
U.S. phenolic resins market revenue by product, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)
Technological advancements have also paved the way for innovative applications, such as the heat-shield manufactured for the Space-X Dragon Capsule, using a phenolic impregnated carbon ablator (PICA). Other companies are also attempting to gain higher profits by integrating phenolics into their products for greater sustainability & performance.
Major companies are actively entering into strategic alliances to boost their presence across the value chain, either by integrating forward into supply or manufacturing the product themselves. Rising consumer awareness regarding new & existing products has compelled new entrants to provide high quality products and utilized advanced processing technologies.
Stringent regulatory framework regarding these resins, their raw materials, and processing technologies are expected to hamper industry expansion to some extent. Agencies such as the European Phenolic Resins Association (EPRA), REACH, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are key bodies governing the industry. They ensure consumer health & safety by restricting pollution, exposure, and emissions pertaining to this industry.
Novolac emerged as the dominant segment, occupying nearly 50% of the volume share in 2015. These resins can be utilized as conventional high-solid varnishes, or as marine and maintenance coatings by either cold blending with oils or reacting with various other oils.
Novolacs also display excellent fire and corrosion resistance properties along with high carbon residue, which is expected to boost their application in several industrial sectors. The segment is anticipated to grow at about 3.7% CAGR in terms of volume.
Resols, on the contrary, are expected to expand at a higher pace, owing to their broad application scope in foamed plastics, fiber bonding, and abrasives. The majority of this resin is utilized as an aqueous solution for chipboard production.
Impregnated decorative laminates are also produced from resols, meeting the demand for aesthetic household products in emerging economies. Solid resols were the dominant sub-segment, accounting for nearly 80% of the revenue share in 2015.
Plastic engineering industries utilize solid powder, lumps or granules for distinct wood-bonding applications such as particleboard or wafer-board. Expanding woodworking & furniture sectors in emerging economies across Asia Pacific are expected to provide lucrative opportunities for manufacturers.
Molding compounds is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing application, owing to their anti-corrosive and heat resistant properties, which boost the product life cycle and efficiency in electrical applications. The segment is anticipated to increase at about 4.4% CAGR to occupy over 18% volume share by 2025.
Phenolic resins market volume by application, 2015 (%)
Wood adhesives is likely to retain its dominance over the near future. North America is the leading consumer of wood adhesives across the globe. The region is further expected to generate demand for the application segment with increasing demand for residential space in the U.S. and Canada.
Other applications such as insulation and lamination are also anticipated to remain fast-growing segments. The demand for durable & aesthetic products is expected to increase as a result of rising consumer disposable income, specifically from emerging economies, presenting lucrative opportunities for advanced resin systems.
Highest consumption was estimated in Asia Pacific, as a result of expanding end-use industries and the rising awareness regarding the low cost benefits of this product in varied applications. Asia Pacific accounted for more than one-third of the overall volume share in 2015 and is expected to emerge the fastest-growing region as well.
Stringent regulatory framework promoting lightweight composites in the automotive industry and macroeconomic factors such as burgeoning population and rapid urbanization are responsible for driving growth in Asia Pacific as well. Major manufacturers from developed regions such as North America and Europe are shifting their production bases to emerging economies of Southeast Asia in order to tap low cost labor and vast resource pools.
Developed regions themselves are expected to grow at slower rates owing to end-use industry saturation and downward revision of GDP growth rates in recent years. Latin America is expected to remain an important & fast-growing region, with high growth rates as a result of sound economic development, rising regional & export demand, and the availability of low-cost labor & technologies.
This industry is concentrated with major players such as Momentive Specialty Chemicals, Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd., Georgia-Pacific Chemicals, Kolon Industries Inc. and BASF SE. Other players such as Owens Corning, Arclin Inc., Olympic Panel Products LLC, Ashland Inc., DIC Corporation, and Hexcel Corporation also have considerable presence as well.
Companies are actively investing in product development, collaborations, alliances and other initiatives to gain a competitive edge. BASF has recently expanded and modernized its Korea production plant, boosting capacity by nearly double the existing amount, in Ludwigshafen. Other companies such as Momentive and Kanoria Industries have formed a JV to construct a new production plant in India.
Base year for estimation
Actual estimates/Historical data
2014 - 2016
2017 - 2025
Volume in Kilo Tons; Revenue in USD Million & CAGR from 2016 to 2025
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa
U.S., Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, Mexico, Brazil and Saudi Arabia
Volume & revenue forecast, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
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Segments covered in the report
This report forecasts volume & revenue growth and provides an analysis on the latest trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this report, Grand View Research has segmented the phenolic resins market on the basis of product, application & region:
Product Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Liquid Resol Resins
Solid Resol Resins
Application Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Regional Outlook (Volume, Kilo Tons; Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)
Middle East & Africa (MEA)
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