Phenol, also referred to as benzenol, phenolic acid and monohydroxybenzene, is an aromatic organic chemical with the molecular formula C6H5OH. It is volatile and highly toxic compound which occurs as a white crystalline solid at room temperature. Earlier, it was sourced from coal tar, whereas, now it is produced from petroleum at a large scale. Phenol and its derivatives play a vital role in the production of epoxies, nylon, herbicides, polycarbonates, detergents and numerous pharmaceutical drugs. A new research report by IMARC Group, titled “Phenol Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2018-2023”, estimates that the global phenol market crossed a value of US$ 19 Billion in 2017. The report further anticipates the market value to reach US$ 28 Billion by 2023, at a projected CAGR of more than 6% over the forecast period.
Global Phenol Market Drivers/Constraints:
- Bisphenol-A, a derivative of phenol, is used to produce epoxy resins which are further utilized in the manufacturing of rotor blades for wind turbines. As a result of the mounting focus on renewable energy, the demand for wind turbine rotor blades is witnessing a surge, in turn, creating positive growth prospects for the phenol market.
- Phenol-resins find wide applications in the manufacturing of thermosetting plastics which are extensively used in the production of electrical components such as electron tubes, insulators, and sockets. A surge in the demand for these components, particularly in the emerging markets, is projected to facilitate the phenol market growth.
- The bolstering consumption of phenol derivatives such as caprolactam, phenylamine, alkylphenols, chloro-phenols and salicylic acid in a number of end-use industries represents another major growth-inducing factor.
- Over the past few years, the price of phenol has witnessed a number of fluctuations owing to changing price of its raw materials – benzene and propylene. This acts as one of the major challenges faced by the global phenol market.
On the basis of end-use, the global phenol market has been segmented into bisphenol-A, phenolic resins, caprolactam and alkyl phenyls. Currently, bisphenol-A accounts for the majority of the market share on account of an increase in the usage of bisphenol-A in the medicine and drugs, and polymer industries.
Region-wise, the market has been divided into Asia Pacific, Europe, the United States, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America. Amongst these, Asia Pacific dominates the market owing to increasing urbanisation which has led to a rise in the demand for phenol and its derivatives.
The global phenol market is highly fragmented in nature with the presence of numerous small and large manufacturers who compete in terms of prices and quality. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
- LG Chem
- Kumho P&B Chemicals., Inc.
- Cepsa Quimica, S.A.
- Mitsui Chemicals
- INEOS Phenol Ltd.
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