In the recent time, the demand for bio-based fuels and chemicals have reported a significant rise, thanks to the growing awareness regarding the renewable alternatives of fossil resources. Furfural, being a renewable platform molecule for the production of biofuels and biochemicals, is gaining significant impetus from this rising demand.
The pharmaceutical industry is also presenting lucrative opportunities for the application of this organic compound. As furfural acts as a natural precursor to a varied range of furan-based chemicals and solvents, its application in the production of pharmaceutical intermediaries and mixtures is likely to increase considerably in the years to come.
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On the other hand, inefficient production processes and the lack of technical advancement may restrict the market from growing over the forthcoming years. However, the capability of this compound to renew itself is predicted to result in its increased adoption across a number of end-use industries in the near future. The global opportunity in furfural was worth US$450 mn in 2014. Expanding at a steady CAGR of 13.10% between 2015 and 2023, this opportunity is predicted to reach to US$1.35 bn by the end of the forecast period.
Increasing Application of Furfuryl Alcohol to Drive Demand for Furfural
Furfuryl alcohol, pharmaceuticals, solvents, and chemical intermediates are the prime application areas for furfural. Apart from this, this compound also finds widespread application in herbicides, pesticides, and flavors and fragrance.
Currently, furfuryl alcohol is the key contributor to the overall consumption of furfural across the world. In 2014, the opportunity for furfural in furfuryl alcohol was worth US$394 mn. Increasing at a CAGR of 13.20% from 2015 to 2023, it is likely to increase to US$1.2 bn by the end of the forecast period. The increasing application of furfuryl alcohol as binders in resins and as solvents in pharmaceuticals is anticipated to drive the demand for furfural significantly over the next few years.
Consumption of Furfural Projected to Remain High in Asia Pacific
North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa are the key regional markets for furfural. Among these, Asia Pacific has emerged as the leading consumer of furfural. In 2014, the region accounted for a share of 78% in the overall demand for this compound. By 2023, this demand share is likely to witness a rise of 4.5%, owing to the growing demand for furfural-based agrochemicals as well as herbicides and pesticides. Asia Pacific is likely to present an opportunity of US$1.08 bn in the furfural market by 2023, increasing at a CAGR of 13.80% during the period of 2015-2023.
China has emerged as the key contributor to the consumption of furfural in Asia Pacific. The demand for furfural is expected to rise at a CAGR of 11.50% in China during the forecast period. The leading players in the global furfural market are Xingtai Chunlei Furfuryl Alcohol Co. Ltd., Tieling North Furfural (Group) Co. Ltd., Tanin Sevnica d.d., Silvateam S.p.A., Penn A Kem LLC, Nutrafur S.A., Linzi Organic Chemicals Inc. Ltd., Lenzing AG, KRBL Ltd., Illovo Sugar Ltd., Hongye Holding Group Corp. Ltd., Central Romana Corp. Ltd., and Arcoy Biorefinery Pvt. Ltd.
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Constant currency rates have been considered while forecasting the market. Prices of furfural and application segments vary in each region. Hence, a similar volume-to-revenue ratio does not follow for each individual region. Regional average price has been considered while breaking down the market by product segment and application in each region. Models and estimates have been used to produce comprehensive datasets where hard data was not available. We have used the bottom-up approach by considering application segments and integrating them to arrive at the global market. Applications have been further divided using the top-down approach to derive the consumption of products in the regional market.
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