Global Market Study on Phenolic Resins: Unlimited Commercial Potentiality Ahead

Phenolic Resins  Market
  • Published On : Aug-2019 |
  • Pages : 320 Pages |
  • Format : Phenolic Resins  Market Phenolic Resins  Market Phenolic Resins  Market Phenolic Resins  Market

Phenolic resins are thermosetting plastics that continue to witness considerable traction for a plethora of applications. Rising demand for plastics that showcase high thermal resistance, strength, and fire-resistant properties has led to a substantial increase in the adoption of phenolic resins over the years. They continue to garner increasing adoption for a variety of applications in forest products, and in molding, abrasive, refractories, friction, and rubber processing. Until very recently phenolic resins market has been growing but not at the same rate as for plastic materials in general. For instance, in 1950’s production of phenolic resins was similar to that for PVC and for polyethylene and almost double than polystyrene. Today, it has become 1/10th to that of polyethylene and roughly one-third that of polystyrene. This growing volatility in the production of phenolic resins propelled analysts at Persistence Market Research (PMR) to gauge the future development prospects of phenolic resins market.   

Changing Dynamics of Phenolic Resins Market 

Phenolic resins have been widely adopted since the early twentieth century and are considered the first class of synthetic polymers to attain commercial success. With their origin tracing back to 1872 when Adolf von Baeyer first obtained phenolic resins, they have come a long way. However, it wasn’t until Baekeland patented his ‘heat and pressure’ method of processing in 1907 that these resins become a commercially viable product. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, applications of phenolic resins expanded to polymer and composite with production in North America alone to be more than a million tons in 1998. Since then, there has been no looking back for phenolic resins in terms of demand and applications. Phenolic resins continue to witness significant traction for a wide variety of applications, such as adhesives, moulding powders, binders, laminating resins, surface coatings and impregnants. As per the PMR analysis, the global sales of phenolic resins valued ~US$ 6,516 Mn in 2018, and is estimated that sales will rise by ~3% in 2019. 

Technology Roadmap of Phenolic Resins Market 

Unique properties of phenolic resins garnered limelight in early 1990s, when manufacturers realized the resins utility in a plethora of applications. The versatile nature of phenolic resins witnessed some improvement between the 90’s and early 2000’s, as manufacturers leveraged nanotechnology to improve selective properties of these resins. In view of the rapidly advancing technology, phenolic resins manufacturers are increasingly looking for novel and innovative approached of manufacturing phenolic resins. 

Compelling Trends that are Shaping Growth Prospects of Phenolic Resins Market Players 

Wood Adhesives – Hotbed of Applications for Phenolic Resins 

Rising demand for innovative and aesthetically-driven wood products and molding compounds has been creating a dire need for engineered wood, which in turn continues to drive the demand for wood adhesives.  Wood adhesives have been driving the phenolic resin consumption on a global scale and held a significant market share in 2018. Adoption of phenolic resins for composite boards continues to remain significant in North America, as growing number of regional Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and softwood plywood producers have been using these resins at a large scale. They continue to gravitate for phenolic resins over competitive adhesives, such as melamine-urea-formaldehyde- (MUF-) or diphenyl methylene diisocyanate – (MDI-) based ureaformaldehyde (UF) based resins. Whereas, in several regions, lucrativeness of phenolic resins continues to remain concentrated among plywood producers. 

What does Lightweight Trend in Auto Sector Holds for Stakeholders? 

Lightweight trend is in full swing in the auto industry, as manufacturers are increasingly replacing metal components with plastic or fiber-based substitutes. Weight savings for improved fuel efficiency are associated with the replacement of ceramics and metals in the automotive industry by several newly developed phenolic molding compounds, such as long glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforced phenolic molding compounds. As the automotive sector continues to address the dire need for fuel efficiency that involves corresponding reduction in vehicle body weight, auto makers will also reduce the weight of friction parts. Thus the frictional load applied to the friction element is highly likely to increase, while necessitating the adoption of phenolic resins that demonstrate exceptional heat resistance. 

Renewable Raw Materials Garnering Limelight 

Renewable raw materials for manufacturing phenolic resins, specifically those that would alleviate the amount of expensive phenol, have emerged as the key area of focus for manufacturers. Lucrativeness of materials, including soy, cashew shell nut oil, furfural, and tannins continues to grow in line with their potential economic benefits in manufacturing phenolic resins, without compromising on the product performance. Several other materials, including linseed oil and tung oil are also witnessing demand for their potential use in friction and electrical laminates applications. Lignin has also emerged as a viable substitute to phenol for manufacturing phenolic resins, over recent years. In 2017, for instance, Prefere Resins became Europe’s first manufacturer to produce phenolic resins by replacing a large amount of phenol content with lignin. Similarly, Hexion LLC launched novel Bakelite phenolic resins for the production of coatings with below 0.1% formaldehyde (ULEF) content. Hexion is also working on a novel phenolic resin technology which substitutes phenol with lignin, a material which holds substantial potential as an adhesive substitute for wood panel production. 

phenolic resins market segmentation

Winning Imperatives 

Banking on M&A for Better Market Positioning 

Growing number of companies in the phenolic resins market have placed their focus on forming long-term relationships with customers and vendors to acquire durable and stable contracts for the supply of phenolic resins. They are particularly investing in mergers and acquisitions to solidify their position in the highly competitive market. For instance, Prefere Resins Holding GmbH has recently acquired INEOS Melamines & Paraform business, and created three new and robust business units: Prefere Phenolic, Prefere Melamines, and Prefere Paraform. 

Consolidating Position in East Asia 

As East Asia continues to emerge and grow as a goldmine of opportunities, both in terms of production as well as applications, numerous market players are focusing on consolidating their position in the region. The phenolic resins market in East Asia, which accounted for ~30% market value share in 2018, is envisaged to grow at a notable pace. This falls in line with the significant rise in the demand for phenolic resin based adhesives, and molded compounds across the proliferating construction, furniture, automotive and electric and electronics industry in the region. Additionally, rapidly changing trade flow has been creating significant expansion opportunities for market players, while China, US and Germany continue to remain the prime importers as well as the exporters of phenolic resins.  

Mapping the Market Competition Landscape

The phenolic resins market can be characterized as highly fragmented, with top 12 leading players accounting for only ~23-25% of the overall market share. Amid the growing competition in the phenolic resins market, expansion of current product portfolio and penetration in the developing regions, wherein end user industries continue to pick pace, have emerged as one of the prime growth strategies of market players. 

Analyst’s Viewpoint 

The analysts of the report set their bets on a steady rise in the phenolic resins market, which is anticipated to expand at ~4% CAGR during 2019-2029, owing to a significant rise in the demand for wood adhesives for a plethora of applications across furniture and construction verticals. The market players that are laying focus on leveraging advanced technology to develop eco-friendly and energy-efficient variants are highly likely to outshine in the years to come. Tie-ups with leading distributors and key end use industries will also emerge as profound approach to secure sales. 

Read More

Phenolic resins or PF resins (phenol-formaldehyde resins) are synthetic resins/polymers, which are obtained through the substitution of phenol or reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. These are used as the base for Bakelite. These are widely used in the production of molded compounds, adhesives, laboratory countertops, billiard balls, coatings, etc.

Phenolic resins are manufactured by two methods. In the first one, phenol directly reacts with formaldehyde and produces thermosetting network of polymer, while in the other, novolac type of phenolic resins is produced by restricting formaldehyde. Novolac type is prepolymer and can be molded and cured by the addition of more heat and formaldehyde.

The phenolic resins market is projected to grow at a CAGR value of ~4%. Rising phenolic resins-based adhesives and molding compounds are expected to be one of the prime factors, which are driving the phenolic resins market growth. The global phenolic resins market is projected to produce an incremental $ opportunity ~US$ 3.0 Bn over the forecast period.

Growing End-Use Industries Creating Significant Growth Opportunities for Market Players

Globally, the consumption of phenolic resins is primarily driven by the growing demand across various end-use industries such as construction, automotive, electrics & electronics, paints and coatings, etc. With the growing automotive industry, the demand for energy-efficient, light-weight, and eco-friendly products and composites for the components and parts has increased. Moreover, phenolic resins are used for circuit board manufacturing in the electronics industry due to their heat resistance and high mechanical strength properties. Furthermore, phenolic resins are significantly used in the production of wood adhesives in the construction industry for providing aesthetic appearance to engineered wood products and molding compounds. Such factors increase the penetration of phenolic resins-based products such as adhesives, lamination, insulation and coatings, etc.

Technological enhancements, product innovations, and penetration in emerging economies create significant growth opportunities for the global market players.

Changing Trade Flow Creating Expansion Opportunities for Market Participants

Changing trade flow of phenol, especially in China, is positively impacting the domestic phenolic resin manufacturers. Phenolic resins are the co-product of phenol and formaldehyde. These are manufactured by the mixture of phenol and formaldehyde in an appropriate ratio. Phenol import in China is decreasing continuously. In 2015, the phenol import in China was less than 200 KT, a decrease of over 500 KT as compared to 2011. The majority share of China’s phenol import volume is from Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. The reason behind the reduction in China’s import volume is the significant influence of the domestic phenol production. This results in creating opportunities for China’s domestic phenolic resin manufacturers due to the easy availability of raw materials. Hence, they sell it at a low price as compared to the global market. Such factors negatively impact the overseas phenolic resin manufacturers.

Growing Market Consolidation: Mergers & Acquisitions Key Strategy of Market Players

Major companies in the phenolic resins market are focusing on strategic mergers and acquisitions with an aim to expand their global footprint as well as product portfolios. Companies also focus on expanding their production capacity of phenolic resins as per the growing demand across the globe.

The prominent companies in the market aim on selling non-core assets and facilities to generate the capital required to reduce their debts.

  • In July 2013, BASF SE expanded and modernized its Koresin phenolic resin production capacity by 50% at its Ludwigshafen Verbund site.
  • In 2017, Prefere Resins became Europe’s first manufacturer to produce phenolic resins by partially replacing phenol with lignin in the production process.
  • In April 2017, Hexion LLC introduced new bakelite phenolic resins for the production of coatings with formaldehyde (ULEF) content of less than 0.1%.

Phenolic Resins Market – Competition Landscape

The phenolic resins market is a highly fragmented market and the key market participants hold around ¾ share of the total market in 2018. The top 12 market players in the phenolic resins market collectively hold 23% to 26% share of the total market share. Some of the prominent manufacturers are -

  • DIC Corporation
  • Hexion LLC
  • Kolon Industries Inc.
  • SI Group
  • RPM International Inc., among others.

Key Questions Answered in the Global Phenolic Resins Market Report

  • How has the phenolic resins market evolved over the past four years?
  • What are some of the prevailing market dynamics in the phenolic resins market?
  • What shape is the phenolic resins market expected to take in terms of value during the study period?
  • What are the competition developments and trends in the phenolic resins market?
  • What are the important key challenges, opportunities, and improvement factors for phenolic resins market players?
  • What are some of the underlying macro-economic and industry factors impacting the growth of the phenolic resins market?
  • What are the important market positioning and key strategies of key phenolic resins manufacturers as per the market taxonomy?
  • How is the competition structured at present and how has it evolved in the phenolic resins market over the past few years?

Phenolic Resins Market Report: Introduction

A recent research study performed by Persistence Market Research (PMR) evaluates the historical as well as the present scenario of the ‘Global Phenolic Resins Market’ to precisely gauge the industry’s future opportunistic development. The report covers exhaustive information related to the key vital growth determinants, trends and restraints that are shaping the growth dynamics of the phenolic resins market to find out the lucrativeness of the business for market players. The study also sheds light on detailed information related to how the phenolic resins market will pace up and gain momentum during the timeframe 2019-2029.

The report presents riveting dynamics regarding the different aspects and nuances of the phenolic resins market to assist the market enthusiasts formulate winning strategies. PMR’s report also provides information about the vital changes that are anticipated to shape the phenolic resins market during the foreseeable period. It covers a key indicator assessment to underline the development prospects of the phenolic resins market as well as projection statistics pertaining to the growth of the market in terms of volume (KT) and value (US$ Mn).

The report includes a comprehensive taxonomy of the phenolic resins market and incisive insights on market competitive structure. The study also includes company profiles of the stakeholders that are vying to grow in the phenolic resins market, wherein, a range of development as well as smart and rewarding strategies formulated and leveraged by the established players and the market entrants have been offered in a detailed manner.

Phenolic Resins Market - Segmentation

PMR’s research study evaluates the phenolic resins market based on end use, application, product, and region. The report presents info0rmation about the rapidly changing market dynamics and trends pertaining to the different market segments, and how they are shaping the growth prospects of the phenolic resins market.



End Use





North America



Electric and Electronics

Latin America


Molding Compounds





South Asia



East Asia


Middle East & Africa

What are the Salient Questions Answered in PMR’s Report on Phenolic Resins Market?  

The report presents detailed information related to the phenolic resins market based on the exhaustive research related to the macro as well as microeconomic factors that are playing a key role in shaping the growth potential of the market. The information enumerated in the study provides answers to queries for the currently operating market players and the companies that are looking forward to enter into phenolic resins market, to help them strategize smart approaches and take business-driving decisions. 

  • Which phenolic resins product promise highest gains for the market in 2023?
  • How market big shots are successfully capitalizing the growing traction for phenolic resins to make adhesives?
  • What are the key strategies of market goliaths in phenolic resins market?
  • Which end use witnessed highest traction for phenolic resins in 2018?
  • What rate of ROI can phenolic resins market players can anticipate from the growing application of these resins in molding compounds in the next five years?
  • What will be the Y-o-Y growth of phenolic resins market between 2019 and 2025?

Research Methodology – Phenolic Resins Market

The research methodology followed by the analysts for developing phenolic resins market report relies on a detailed primary and secondary research. By delving deep into market-related information and trends that are obtained by pertinent sources, analysts have detailed incisive insights and precise projection of the phenolic resins market.

As a part of the primary research, PMR analysts conducted interviews with leading stakeholders to collect information regarding the pivotal project objectives. During secondary research phase, the analysts evaluated company annual reports_bk_01_01_2020 and investor presentations. They also gathered data from website or the press releases of the front running market players. The analysts also considered articles/reports_bk_01_01_2020 carried by credible sources to obtain key understanding of the phenolic resins market.

Companies covered in Phenolic Resins Market Report

Company Profiles:

  • DIC Corporation
  • Hexion LLC
  • Chang Chun Plastics Co. Ltd.
  • Mitsui Chemicals Inc.
  • Georgia Pacific Chemicals LLC
  • Prefere Resins
  • Kolon Industries, Inc.
  • SI Group
  • Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd
  • Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd.
  • Plastics Engineering Company
  • RPM International Inc.
  • KCC Corporation
  • Altex Coatings Inc.
  • Nippon Paint Marine Coatings Co., Ltd. 


Back To Top