The global phenolic resin market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% from 2014 to 2019. The demand for phenolic resin is increasing and the trend is expected to continue as the construction and housing industries in the developing regions are providing opportunities for the demand of phenolic resin.
Asia-Pacific dominated the phenolic resin market in 2013 and accounted for over 42% of the market followed by North America and Europe. The developed regions such as North America and Western Europe are relatively mature markets as compared to Asia-Pacific and other regions. Moreover, Asia-Pacific, South and Central America, and Central and Eastern Europe are expected to witness the fastest growth rate by 2019.
As more viable and competitive materials began to emerge, initially in the pretext of other synthetic thermosetting resins such as epoxy but increasingly with cheaper, oil-based thermoplastics, it became apparent that phenolic resins should be focused on applications for which their specific properties where best suited. Hence, applications such as construction, transport, and household appliances became synonymous with the present day phenolic resin market.
Wood adhesive application of phenolic resin is expected to drive its market. One of the key factors contributing to the growth of this market is phenolic resins make an excellent wood adhesive for plywood and particleboard as they form chemical bonds with the phenol-like lignin component of wood. They are especially desirable for exterior plywood, owing to their good moisture resistance.
The market is dominated by a few global players such as Momentive Specialty Chemicals Inc. (U.S.), SI Group (U.S.), BASF SE (Germany), Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd (Japan), and Kolon Industries, Inc. (Korea).
The market leaders have adopted different strategies for the developed and developing countries. In developed countries, the demand is expected to slow down as compared to the developing countries. The strategy of the market players is focused on developing technology, expanding production capacities, and investing in emerging regions. Partnerships and expansions for phenolic resins in the recent past indicate that the industry is on its way to expand globally and the phenolic resin suppliers are strengthening their presence in the emerging markets.