Published November 2023
Formaldehyde is the most commercially important aldehyde. Production of urea-, phenol- and melamine-formaldehyde resins (UF, PF and MF resins) accounted for nearly 69.1% of world consumption of formaldehyde in 2022; other large applications include polyacetal resins, pentaerythritol, methylenebis (4-phenyl isocyanate) (MDI), 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA). Most formaldehyde producers are concerned primarily with satisfying captive requirements for derivatives and/or supplying local merchant sales. Formaldehyde is usually produced close to the point of consumption since it is fairly easy to make, but it is costly to transport and can develop problems associated with stability during transport. As a result, world trade in formaldehyde is minimal.
The following pie chart presents world consumption of formaldehyde in 2022:
Construction and remodeling activity, vehicle and furniture production, and original equipment manufacture (OEM) accounted for most world consumption of formaldehyde. Demand for these markets is greatly influenced by general economic conditions. As a result, demand for formaldehyde largely follows the patterns of the leading world economies. Formaldehyde resins are used in the wood products industry predominantly as adhesives. Growth of these resins is strongly correlated to construction and remodeling activity, and to a lesser degree, the automotive industry.
Concerns over possible human carcinogenicity from exposure to formaldehyde have been a controversial issue. Numerous studies assessing the human risk of low-level exposure to formaldehyde have been conducted; interpretation of study findings has been varied. The lack of conclusive evidence has led to widespread disagreement among industry, government agencies and unions regarding the appropriate risk assessment for formaldehyde.
Mainland China is the single-largest market for formaldehyde; other markets with large markets include the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Russia, India, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and Canada.
For more detailed information, see the table of contents, shown below.
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook –Formaldehyde is the comprehensive and trusted guide for anyone seeking information on this industry. This latest report details global and regional information, including
S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Handbook –Formaldehyde has been compiled using primary interviews with key suppliers and organizations, and leading representatives from the industry in combination with S&P Global’s unparalleled access to upstream and downstream market intelligence and expert insights into industry dynamics, trade, and economics.
This report can help you
- Identify trends and driving forces influencing chemical markets
- Forecast and plan for future demand
- Understand the impact of competing materials
- Identify and evaluate potential customers and competitors
- Evaluate producers
- Track changing prices and trade movements
- Analyze the impact of feedstocks, regulations, and other factors on chemical profitability