Furfural is an organic chemical intermediate obtained from renewable sources such as agricultural residues and wood chips. Furfural is considered to be a platform chemical, which is used as a precursor for the manufacturing of various derivatives such as tetrahydrofuran (THF), furfuryl alcohol, and furan resins. The global furfural market size is projected to grow from USD 551 million in 2019 to USD 700 million by 2024, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9% between 2019 and 2024. Increasing demand from various end-use industries such as foundry, pharmaceutical, and textile is the primary factor driving the furfural market.
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The corncob raw material segment is projected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period due to its highest pentosan content. This results in higher economic value as it offers greater yield in comparison to other raw materials.
The derivatives application accounted for the largest share of the furfural market. Among the derivatives, furfuryl alcohol dominated the consumption of furfural in this segment. Furfuryl alcohol is mainly used in the manufacturing of furan resins used in the foundry industry.
On the basis of region, the furfural market has been segmented into APAC, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and the Americas. APAC accounted for the largest share of the market in 2018. The region has emerged as the largest consumer of furfural owing to the large-scale demand for derivative manufacturing of furfural-based chemicals in countries, such as China, Thailand, and India. Europe accounted for the second-largest share in the overall furfural market in 2018. The market is projected to grow at the fastest rate in APAC.
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The key players in the furfural market are Transfuran Chemicals (Belgium), Central Romana Corporation (Dominican Republic), Pennakem (US), Silvateam (Italy), Illovo Sugar (South Africa), Hongye Holding Group Corporation (China), KRBL(India), Lenzing (Austria), Tanin (Slovenia), and Shandong Crownchem Industries (China).
The market for furfural is dominated by China. The presence of large manufacturing capacities in the country has resulted in lower prices of furfural, thereby affecting the other players in the market. As a result, anti-dumping duties were levied on Chinese imports by the US. EU also had anti-dumping duties against Chinese imports, but it was later removed in 2012. Thailand is also one of the key exporters of furfural in APAC.
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