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Global Phenol Industry Report: By Application: Phenol Formaldehyde Resins, Polycarbonates, Epoxy Resins, Nylon, Alkyl Phenol, Others; Regional Overview; Value Chain Analysis; Production Process; Cost Structure; Market Dynamics; Industry Best Practices: Sourcing Strategy, Procurement Model, Contract Structure, Negotiation Levers, Pricing Model, Key Factors Influencing the Quotation; Key Supplier Analysis, 2022-2027

Phenol Industry by Regional Category Spend, Price Analysis, Key Demand, Price Indicators, and Best Buying Practices


The global phenol market reached a value of about USD 19.44 billion in 2021. The industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of around 4.2 percent in the forecast period of 2022-2027 to reach a value of USD 24.07 billion by 2027.

The industry report gives a comprehensive analysis of the industry including key segments, trends, drivers, restraints, the competitive landscape, and other essential market aspects. The phenol market has experienced a negative impact on account of the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and consequent lockdowns imposed by governments of several countries, which has resulted in a labour shortage, supply chain disruptions, and limited availability of raw materials. Nevertheless, due to the extensive and diverse applications of phenol for industrial purposes, cosmetics, and household products, the raw material has gained momentum again. The key demand indicator in the industry report is the highest category spender by region— Asia Pacific.

Industry Definition and Segmentation

Phenol or carbolic acid is a fragrant white crystalline solid. It is an organic compound with the molecular formula C6H5OH. Phenol finds extensive and diverse applications, especially through its downstream products. It is obtained through the Cumene process, Dow process, and Raschig–Hooker process, among others. It finds most of its usage in the conversion to precursors for plastics. In the pharmaceutical sector, phenol finds its application as a precursor of drugs like aspirins, and other pharmaceutical drugs. It is also employed as a remedy for pharyngitis. It is majorly used for manufacturing household products like detergents, as an intermediate, and as a derivative in the production of nylon, herbicides, epoxies, and cosmetics. The phenol market industry report comprises segments based on end-use products and regions. End-use segments are divided into Bisphenol A, Phenolic Resins, Caprolactam, Alkyl Phenyls, among others. By region, the important segments in the global phenol market are Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America.

The Asia Pacific and North America Regions are Driving the Growth of the Industry

Rapid economic development around the world has majorly contributed to construction activities in the residential and commercial domains. Since phenolic resins are used in the production of plywood, laminated beams, and flooring panels, this has increased the market growth. Phenol finds substantial applications as an industrial cleaner for machinery parts and electronic devices; as a starting material for plastics and explosives such as picric acid; as a raw material in the manufacturing of drugs and antioxidants; as a basic material in wood preservatives such as creosote; for making intense colored dyes; and in everyday products such as mouthwash, liquid detergents, inks, floor cleaners, and disinfectants. Besides, phenolic resins are used in the manufacturing of thermosetting plastics which are further utilised in the production of electrical components such as electron tubes, insulators, and sockets. Apart from this, paper phenolics are employed for manufacturing household laminates and paper composite panels; and glass phenolics are used in the high-speed bearing market. Additionally, the rise in the demand for molding uses of phenolic resins for several purposes including, sharp grinding wheels, rubbing linings, and intractable products, because of their high elasticity, heat resistance, and dimensional stability, is leading to the growth of the market. Along with other factors, various government initiatives to aid and promote local assembling activities are driving the attention for phenolic resins in the building and construction industry.

During the industrial processes, if phenol is released into the marine systems, it might harmfully affect the aboriginal biota, including, algae, protozoa, invertebrates, and vertebrates. Commercially produced phenol and its many uses bring it to direct contact with human beings and are quickly immersed through the skin and lungs by inhalation causing serious burns. However, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has categorised phenol as a Group D, which is not classed as human carcinogenicity.

Best Procurement Practices

The global phenol industry report by Procurement Resource gives an in-depth analysis of the best buying practices followed by major phenol by-products utilising regions across the globe, such as engagement models, contract terms, and buyer and supplier negotiation levers, among others.

Category Management Studies

Phenol is important to produce other chemical products like phenolic adhesives, polycarbonates, and epoxy resins which are used as essential raw materials for numerous industry sectors. Phenol is applied to many kinds of end products such as plywood, window glazing, flooring and countertop laminates, televisions, computers, household appliances, sports equipment, and boats. Benzene and propylene are used to first produce cumene, which is later oxidised to develop into hydroperoxide, before their splitting into phenol and its co-product, acetone. Bisphenol A (BPA), which is produced from phenol and acetone is the only biggest market for phenol. BPA further is utilised to manufacture polycarbonate and epoxy resins. When it is countered with bromine, BPA forms fire retardant tetrabromobisphenol A. It is also applied to produce engineering thermoplastics like polysulfones and polyacrylates.

Increase Demand for Alkyl Phenyl and Growth of the End-Use Industries is Further Driving the Procurement of Phenol

The global phenol industry is being driven by the rising demand for alkyl phenols. Alkyl phenols currently account for 4.5 percent of the global end-use application. Alkyl phenols are broadly used as precursors to detergents, as building block chemicals for fragrances, fire-retardant materials, and thermoplastic elastomers, and as additives for fuels and lubricants. Besides, it is found in tyres, coatings, adhesive, and high-performance rubber products, in consequence of their downstream applications. Due to the growth of phenol’s end-use industries, due to increasing urbanisation, changing lifestyles, and the rise in disposable incomes are the other prominent factors leading to the increase in worldwide demand for phenol. The end-use sector is led by Bisphenol A, which accounted for 47 percent of the industry share. Strong demand from emerging countries is facilitating the growth in the phenol market. The technological advancement in the techniques of its production has added further momentum to the phenol market growth. Phenol is also in demand in sectors like farming and animal husbandry where it is used in fungicides and disinfectants. The construction industry is anticipated to grow by 85 percent in 2030 to reach USD 15.5 trillion, with China, the US, and India accounting for 57 percent of the estimated growth. With the growing demand for phenol derivatives like polycarbonate and epoxy resins in the automobile and construction sector, the phenol market is being propelled forward.

The major regions in the industry are North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, and Africa. The Asia Pacific accounts for the greatest market share of 52.5 percent.

Key Industry Players Mentioned in the Phenol Industry Report

  • Ineos Phenol
  • Cepsa Quimica
  • Mitsui Chemicals
  • Formosa Chemicals and Fibers
  • Kumho P & B Chemicals
  • Honeywell International Inc.
  • Shell Chemical Co.
  • Solvay SA

Market Landscape

The greatest and only market for phenol is in the manufacturing of Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is produced from phenol and aceton. BPA is further used to produce polycarbonate (the sharpest and biggest growing use of BPA) and epoxy resins, and both raw materials are utilised in numerous types of industries and in immeasurable products that we come across in our everyday life. Besides, the other primary factors leading to the growth of the BPA market, thereby, supporting the phenol market to grow are rising demand for polycarbonate and epoxy resins in several end-user industries such as paints, coatings, adhesives, electrical and electronics, packaging, and other end-user industries. The Asia-Pacific region is likely to take over the overall phenol market and is also projected to be the quickest-expanding territory over the estimated period. It is estimated that by 2023 the volume of the polycarbonate market will reach 6,141.32 kilo metric tonnes whereas the epoxy resin market will reach 4,639.94 kilo metric tonnes. Hence, increasing the application of epoxy resins will most certainly expand the demand for BPA and in turn, drive the phenol market at large.

Key Initiatives by Companies

  • In 2021, INEOS has announced many initiatives in Belgium in its Sustainability Report. The company’s new business Project ONE plans to build one of Europe’s most ground-breaking and finest climate-performing olefin complexes in Antwerp. INEOS Phenol and Engie are planning to use hydrogen fuel in their industrial plant for the first time in Belgium to generate electricity and heat. 
  • In December 2021, Cepsa Química launched, certified renewable raw materials to manufacture linear alkylbenzene (LAB) which is a critical component in the production of biodegradable detergents. The company is also leading in the production of phenol from renewable and recycled raw materials.

1.    Executive Summary
2.    Global Phenol Market Snapshot

    2.1.    Phenol Market Outlook
    2.2.    Phenol Industry Analysis by Application
        2.2.1.    Phenol Formaldehyde Resins
        2.2.2.    Polycarbonates
        2.2.3.    Epoxy Resins
        2.2.4.    Nylon
        2.2.5.    Alkyl Phenol
        2.2.6.    Others
    2.3.    Regional Overview
        2.3.1.    North America
        2.3.2.    Europe
        2.3.3.    Asia Pacific 
        2.3.4.    Others
3.    Impact of Recent Events 
4.    Phenol Value Chain Analysis 
5.    Phenol Production Process
6.    Trade Analysis 
7.    Major Risk Factors in Sourcing
8.    Phenol Cost Structure
9.    Phenol Price Analysis 
10.    Key Demand Indicator Analysis
11.    Key Price Indicator Analysis
12.    Phenol Market Dynamics

    12.1.    Drivers & Constraints
    12.2.    Industry Events 
    12.3.    Innovations & Trends
    12.4.    SWOT Analysis
    12.5.    Porter’s Five Forces
        12.5.1.    Buyer Power
        12.5.2.    Supplier Power
        12.5.3.    Threat of New entrants
        12.5.4.    Threat of Substitutes
        12.5.5.    Industry Rivalry
13.    Feedstock Market Analysis
    13.1.    Market Overview
    13.2.    Price Analysis 
14.    Industry Best Practices
    14.1.    Sourcing Strategy
    14.2.    Procurement Model
    14.3.    Contract Structure
    14.4.    Negotiation Levers
    14.5.    Pricing Model
    14.6.    Key Factors Influencing the Quotation 
15.    Key Supplier Analysis
    15.1.    INEOS Phenol GmbH
    15.2.    Shell Chemical LP
    15.3.    Cepsa Chemicals
    15.4.    Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corporation
    15.5.    Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

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Key Questions Answered in the Report

In 2021, the global phenol market attained a value of around USD 19.44 billion.

In the forecast period of 2022-2027, the market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2 percent.

By 2027, the market is estimated to reach a value of almost USD 24.07 billion.

The major drivers of the industry such as rising urbanisation, increasing disposable incomes, strong demand from emerging economies, technological advancements, and growing demand for alkyl phenyl are expected to aid the market growth.

Improvements in the phenol production technology, focusing on enhancing output, lowering process costs, and improving safety, is expected to be a major trend informing the industry growth.

The major regions in the industry are North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, with the Asia Pacific accounting for the largest market share of 52.5 percent.

The leading end-use segment in the industry is bisphenol A, accounting for 47 percent of the market share.

The major players in the industry are INEOS Group, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Shell Chemical Co., and Solvay SA, among others.

Analyst Review

Speedy economic development around the world has majorly contributed to construction activities in the residential and commercial domains. Since phenolic resins are used in the production of plywood, laminated beams, and flooring panels, this has increased the market growth. Phenol finds substantial applications as an industrial cleaner for machinery parts and electronic devices; as a starting material for plastics and explosives such as picric acid; as a raw material in the manufacturing of drugs and antioxidants; as a basic material in wood preservatives such as creosote; for making intense colored dyes; and in everyday products such as mouthwash, liquid detergents, inks, floor cleaners, and disinfectants. The global phenol industry is being driven by the rising demand for alkyl phenols. Alkyl phenols currently account for 4.5 percent of the global end-use application. Alkyl phenols are broadly used as precursors to detergents, as building block chemicals for fragrances, fire-retardant materials, and thermoplastic elastomers, and as additives for fuels and lubricants. a.    The major players in the industry are INEOS Group, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Honeywell International Inc., Shell Chemical Co., and Solvay SA, among others.

Procurement Resources’ detailed research approach explores deep into the industry, encompassing the macro and micro aspects of the industry. Its team of experts uses a combination of cutting-edge analytical tools and their expertise thus, delivering its customers with market insights that are accurate, actionable, and help them remain ahead of their competition.

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