Formaldehyde Price Trend and Forecast

Regional Price Overview

Get the latest insights on price movement and trend analysis of Formaldehyde in different regions across the world (Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East & Africa).

Formaldehyde Price Trend for the Q1 of 2024

Asia

In the Chinese market, the formaldehyde price trend remained stable throughout the quarter as the market drivers extended minimal support. In the early phase of the first quarter, the prices oscillated on the lower end of the spectrum as methanol prices declined and the overall cost of production was also low. However, as the quarter progressed, the prices began to rise as the halt in production due to the advent of Chinese New Year holidays and spring festivities, depleted the inventories at a much quicker pace.

Formaldehyde Price Chart

Formaldehyde Price Trends

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Additionally, the rise in the cost of production, influenced by the inclination in crude oil and raw material prices, further prompted the traders to raise their formaldehyde price quotations. However, the price increase was limited as demand remained flat, resulting in a somewhat balanced market outlook. A similar trend was observed in India also, as the formaldehyde prices witnessed a slight incline in the first month, with spot prices rising from about 384 USD/MT (FOB) to 391 USD/MT, but they then declined to approximately 352 USD/MT as the exporting volumes declined.

Europe

In the European region, formaldehyde prices remained stagnant during the majority of the first quarter as producers maintained unchanged quotations amid moderate demand and supply dynamics. While there was a slight improvement in the manufacturing sector activities, output rates remained below the expectations of the traders.

In February, on the other hand, the number of orders for formaldehyde remained moderate for stocking purposes from domestic buyers, with consistent consumption in the food sector and steady yet moderate demand in the pharmaceutical sector. However, inquiries from domestic insecticide manufacturers were weak, and orders were sluggish from polyester manufacturers in the textile sector due to off-season demand.

Despite a slight decline in production costs due to reduced feedstock costs, the market witnessed stability amid firm demand and limited supply availability. However, in the concluding month, formaldehyde prices experienced a slight reduction as demand remained moderately low amid seasonal trends and decreased cost support from feedstock industries.

North America

In the early phase of 2024, shipping disruptions impacted the pricing trajectory of various commodities, including formaldehyde. The delays, rising freight rates, and low vessel availability were the common issues faced by the North American traders. While these disruptions contribute to tightening supplies, other factors like Iran's winter supply disruptions and delayed facility startups also played a significant role in shaping the trajectory of the formaldehyde price trend.

Despite these challenges, formaldehyde prices remained more or less stagnant as domestic supply met current demand levels. However, sellers reduced their profit margins due to additional costs raised by the inclining prices of crude oil. In the North, the Panama Canal's reduced vessel capacity further altered the formaldehyde trade flows, with exports to Asia declining. However, the government efforts to alleviate shipping backlogs, including pre-booking vessels more aggressively and exploring alternate routes like Cape Horn, were yet to yield any result.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend of Formaldehyde is estimated to fluctuate in the forthcoming quarters as the support sentiments of the downstream industries and trading blockages might result in meek condition of the downstream market.

Formaldehyde Price Trend for the October - December of 2023

Asia

In the Chinese domestic market, the price trend for formaldehyde underwent frequent oscillations, given the continuous fluctuations in the prices of feedstock methanol and poor cost support. Initially the prices kept low as the prices of methanol declined. Though the mining activities maintained their output, the downstream industries registered flat sales. The prices rose around November as the cost support from the methanol market increased.

However, the prices inclined within a narrow range as only the upstream cost pressure inclined, but the demand kept flat, so a somewhat balanced outlook was maintained. Moreover, the quarter ended on a fairly positive note as the formaldehyde prices again fluctuated simultaneously, showing peaks and dips during the same month. Hence, the formaldehyde market consolidated towards the end of December, given the stable sales and environmental restrictions affecting the concerned market.

Similarly, the Indian domestic market registered a somewhat fairly positive price trajectory of formaldehyde, given the downstream demand, fluctuating cost support, and other macroeconomic factor. The formaldehyde prices averaged around 359 USD/MT (FOB, India) in December’23.

Europe

In line with its Asian counterpart, the formaldehyde prices in the European market underwent frequent fluctuations throughout the fourth quarter of 2023. The prices initially declined in view of weakened demand and low-cost support. Further, the lowered prices of feedstock methanol affected the market trend.  Later, the Israel-Hamas war affected the trade movements within the European continents, which influenced the freight charges. Hence, the formaldehyde prices inclined towards the end of Q4’23, given the rise in feedstock prices and constricted logistics.

North America

The US domestic market followed the global trend as the price trend for formaldehyde exhibited mixed numbers throughout the said period. Initially low, the prices inclined during the latter half of the quarter, given the rise in feedstock prices, constricted supplies, high demands, and other macroeconomic factors.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the price trend for Formaldehyde are likely to remain oscillating in the coming months, considering the current market fundamentals and pricing dynamics.

Formaldehyde Price Trend for the July-September of 2023

Asia

The formaldehyde market experienced inclined trend during the three months of Q3’23. Formaldehyde’s extended usage in various sectors, like resins, chemical intermediates, fabric, plastics, construction, etc., was the biggest driver for its surging prices. Positive cost support from the feedstock methanol was also of immense importance in raising its price graph.

Increasing by a whopping 32% (approximate), formaldehyde prices in the Indian market inclined from about 266 USD/MT in July’23 to around 353 USD/MT in September’23. The increment in formaldehyde consumption in the country is attributed to the overall dynamic rise of the economic landscape. Conclusively, with a two-way push from both feedstock and rising demands, the price graphs resulted in an affirmative forecast. Overall, positive market sentiments were observed.

Europe

In contrast with the Asian market, Formaldehyde Price Trend in the European region were rather the opposite. The price graphs tilted downwards, and the prices deescalated regularly. High inventories and falling upstream cost support were the reasons behind this downfall of formaldehyde prices. Since the logistics and other processing situations eased in the region, the market prices have been struggling to remain afloat.

North America

The North American formaldehyde market, too, followed in the footsteps of its European counterpart. With the rise in economic difficulty in the region, the suppliers cut down on procuring more products, and because of high interest rates, the consumption in the majority of the downstream sectors had receded. Overall, muted market sentiments were observed.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, the formaldehyde market will tend to fluctuate in the coming months since the current consumption and procurement pattern will continue to impact the market performance.

Formaldehyde Price Trend for the First Half of 2023

Asia

Formaldehyde exhibited mixed price sentiments during the first half of 2023. Prices inclined during the first quarter as the market started reviving in China; increased demands from downstream industries like chemical and electricals aided this incline. However, soon the prices went into a slump as the quarter shifted.

Rapid production in the first quarter quickly filled up the inventories, and the market got oversupplied. At the same time, the demands from the consuming sectors took a hit. Declined upstream costs were also responsible for falling formaldehyde prices. As the feedstock costs fell and energy and transportation costs normalized, the production costs declined, reducing the price margins for suppliers. So, overall fluctuating price trend for Formaldehyde were observed during H1 2023.

Europe

The European Formaldehyde market remained sullen for most of the first half of 2023. The primary reason for these depreciating trend was the sluggish demands from the downstream industries and decreased upstream costs. To escape this situation, suppliers got very hesitant to order any new products. The market barely showed any positive movement. Overall, feeble market sentiments were observed.

North America

The North American Formaldehyde market almost mimicked the Asian Formaldehyde market, with an incline in prices in the first quarter and a decline in the second quarter. Formaldehyde prices followed the market demands and varied as per the market offtakes, which kept fluctuating throughout the said period. The upstream cost support was weak throughout, so the variation in prices came from the oscillating demand patterns. Overall, mixed price trend for Formaldehyde were observed.

Analyst insight

According to Procurement Resource, the Formaldehyde market is expected to strive for normalcy but will continue to rally after downstream demands. So, some serious shifts in the market demands can render some hope to the otherwise slumped market.

Formaldehyde Price Trend for the Second Half of 2022

Asia

Formaldehyde witnessed a very mixed price trend in H2 2022, in the Asia-Pacific region. In the third quarter, the prices declined given the sullen demands from the downstream industries. As the Chinese government lifted the covid mandated restrictions, the factories returned to their original operating rates and started churning out products at a much faster rate.

The high level of inventories coupled with bearish demand caused the prices to decline further. However, the market somewhat stabilized in the fourth quarter as the demand rebounded from plastic and resin factories. With ample availability of feedstock methanol and low bidding on its fresh stocks, the formaldehyde prices crashed again in December’22.

Europe

The European market remained slow and dull during the said period. Suppliers hesitated to call in new supplies as the existing stocks were able to support the market demands. The prices rose slightly owing to occasional fluctuations in the prices of feedstock methanol and natural gas. Moreover, the upstream cost pressure was reduced which further aided the declining trend. Overall, the European market performed very poorly in terms of formaldehyde prices.

North America

The US market witnessed a very mixed fluctuating price pattern for formaldehyde in H2 2022. The suspension of federal gas and diesel taxes by the US Government reduced the upstream production costs giving a push down to the formaldehyde prices. Downstream industrial demand too stayed bearish resulting in plummeting price trend for formaldehyde.

Analyst Insight

According to Procurement Resource, formaldehyde prices are expected to follow a fluctuating price trend in the coming months. As the supply projections look good the prices will eventually depend on the methanol futures and the rebounding downstream demand.

For the Second Quarter of 2022

Asia

During the said quarter, the market for the chemical witnessed many variations in the Chinese domestic arena. The market for the feedstock methanol remained stagnant; however, a slight increase was seen in its supply towards the end of the quarter. Despite the rising cost of feedstock, no parallel rise in the price of formaldehyde was registered due to sluggish market sentiments.

The fear of global recession and the wait-and-see attitude of the buyers have kept the prices towards the lower end of the scale. Formaldehyde price per ton averaged 1260-1320 RMB in Shandong, China.

Europe

Due to the mismatch in the market dynamics, formaldehyde prices soared across the European market. The constricted supply of feedstock methanol coupled with the solid downstream demand led the prices to inflate in the market.

North America

Initially, the price trend of formaldehyde in the US domestic market remained on the lower side due to the common market sentiment, tightened feedstock supply, and limited imports. However, towards the end of said quarter, a slight increase was recorded due to the renewed purchasing capacity of the domestic market by the disinfectants and cosmetics industries.

For the First Quarter of 2022

Asia

Formaldehyde prices in Shandong increased on March 22. On March 21, the average price of the chemical in Shandong was 1,382.50 RMB/MT, and on March 22, it rose to 1,432.50 RMB/MT, an increase of 3.62%. In the first quarter of 2022, the chemical's market had grown. The mainstream market price in Shandong was 1,400-1,550 RMB/MT in March. The raw material methanol market had started to grow, cost support was strong, and downstream sheet plant purchasing attitude was acceptable.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2021

Asia

In Asia Pacific, prices increased in October before declining in the final two months of the quarter. In December, the price in India was 315 USD/MT. Rising natural gas prices contributed to the cost of methanol in the beginning half of Q4, resulting in a sharp increase in downstream product prices.

The price decline in the second half of Q4 was mostly due to lower methanol prices and an influx of imports from China. Domestic formaldehyde inventories in China increased due to decreasing downstream use and low offtake volumes. China's formaldehyde prices also fell to their lowest point in December, with a spot price of 203 USD/MT Ex-Shangdao, with a decline in exports to Malaysia and South Korea.

Europe

Formalehyde prices fell in Q4 compared to Q2 and Q3 as a result of ample supply and weakening demand in Germany, Belgium, and other European countries. As a result of the lower methanol costs, the price of formaldehyde has also dropped. Due to weak trading activity and sluggish consumer demand, demand for in food, paint, and cosmetics has decreased. Due to oversupply, exports to the Asian market also decreased near the end of Q4. Another factor that has lowered costs is the impending new year, which is expected to be cautious and low in demand. The price was recorded at 458 USD/MT in the final quarter of the year.

North America

When compared to Q2 and Q3, formaldehyde prices in Q4 were on the lower side. Methanol prices declined in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2021, owing to a slowdown in industrial applications and fuel consumption, as well as an increase in Omicron instances. Because of the fall in the automotive and housing industries, formaldehyde production decreased.

Due to ample supply and a bad business environment, imports to South America were reduced. The decline was accentuated by the seasonal slowdown in demand as the New Year approached. The difference between spot and contract methanol prices grew after two of the main manufacturers, Methanex and Southern Chemical, established December contract prices.

For First, Second and Third Quarters of 2021

Asia

On the strength of fluctuating demand from downstream sectors, the Asian market saw frequent fluctuations in formaldehyde prices in the second quarter. Prices in India rose until the end of May due to expensive cargoes from Germany and the United States, but then fell in June as feedstock prices in the respective parent nation fell.

In this quarter, Germany received the most cargoes in India, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom. As a result, during the last week of June, prices in India hovered around 274 USD/MT. In China, a similar dynamic was found, with prices fluctuating in response to changes in downstream demand. The industrial disinfectant segment accounted for the majority of the demand. In September, the market in Shandong increased. The average price of Shandong was 1370 RMB/MT at the start of the month.

Europe

The resumption of Norway's methanol plant, Equinor, in Feb'21, which was shut down due to a fire in Dec'20, improved the supply crisis for the chemical in Europe. However, with the rising demand from downstream sectors and comparatively lower supply due to several turnarounds of methanol plants in Europe, formaldehyde prices rose in H1-21. As a result, the average price in the first three quarters of 2021 was 365 USD/MT.

North America

Due to a substantial lack of feedstock methanol across the region, the US market had a supply deficit in Q1 2021. The ongoing issue of methanol, which began in Q4 2020 owing to various hurricanes across the region, was reignited by a winter storm in the Gulf region.

Due to the frigid temperatures, major methanol and formaldehyde factories in Texas had power disruptions. Formaldehyde prices climbed swiftly in response to high demand for the methanol for fuel and insufficient supply, but this price acceleration is expected to level down with the coming of summers in the region.

For the Year 2020

Asia

Following a solid recovery from COVID-19, China's feedstock methanol market had a sharp comeback in Q4 2020. Methanol prices varied in a range of 260-280 USD/MT at the end of November 2020, owing to expectations of constrained methanol supply from Iran during Q4 2020 in China. Due to these shortages, formaldehyde prices increased dramatically during the quarter.

Due to the closure of some production units in North India, supply of the chemical in India had been disrupted. These closures were caused by a lack of environmental clearances; numerous plants were apparently operating without or with expired environmental clearances. As a result, there was a shortage of formaldehyde in India, which resulted in a price increase from 147.5 USD/MT in September 2020 to 205.16 USD/MT in December 2020.

Europe

In December, a fire broke out in a high-capacity methanol manufacturing plant owned by Equinor, a major European methanol producer. With a capacity of 900,000 tonnes per year, this plant contributes for more than 25% of Europe's total methanol output. Formaldehyde production in Europe was disrupted by the shutdown. Formaldehyde and other derivative chemicals saw significant price increases due to a shortage of upstream products. Average prices were 270 USD/MT.

North America

Methanol output in the United States has been low as a result of unplanned plant shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico caused by Hurricane Zeta in November. The good global demand for methanol over the winter season, combined with a supply constraint, resulted in price increases for both methanol and its downstream product formaldehyde.

During the final quarter of 2020, the downstream market was rebounding and expanding, particularly in Asian countries. As a result, imports from the United States grew, despite the fact that production of formaldehyde remained low enough to meet demand.

Procurement Resource provides latest prices of Formaldehyde. Each price database is tied to a user-friendly graphing tool dating back to 2014, which provides a range of functionalities: configuration of price series over user defined time period; comparison of product movements across countries; customisation of price currencies and unit; extraction of price data as excel files to be used offline.

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About

Formaldehyde in appearance is basically a colourless gas that is prepared from methanol. It is utilised as an antiseptic, disinfectant, and general-purpose chemical reagent for laboratory applications. It has a pungent odour. It is a chemical compound that is readily miscible in water and gets distributed as a 37% solution in water; formalin, a 10% solution of formaldehyde in water, is utilised as a disinfectant and to preserve biological specimens.

Product Details

Report Features Details
Product Name Formaldehyde
Chemical Formula CH2O
Industrial Uses Formaldehyde resins, Chemical intermediate, Fabrics, Automobiles, Electrical systems, Moulded products, Analytical reagent in agriculture, Concrete and plaster additives, Cosmetics, Disinfectants, Wood preservation, Urea-formaldehyde resins, Building insulation, Sanitary paper products
Molecular Weight 30.026 g/mol
Synonyms 50-00-0, Methanal, Formalin, Formol, Methyl aldehyde
Supplier Database BASF SE, Perstorp Holding AB, Alder S.p.A , Celanese Corporation
Region/Countries Covered Asia Pacific: China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, South Korea, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, UAE, Israel, Hongkong, Singapore, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Australia, and New Zealand

Europe: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy,  Spain, Russia, Turkey, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Ireland Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Finland, Czech Republic, Portugal and Greece

North America: United States and Canada

Latin America: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru

Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco
Currency US$ (Data can also be provided in local currency)
Supplier Database Availability Yes
Customization Scope The report can be customized as per the requirements of  the customer
Post-Sale Analyst Support 360-degree analyst support after report delivery


Note: Our supplier search experts can assist your procurement teams in compiling and validating a list of suppliers indicating they have products, services, and capabilities that meet your company's needs.

Production Processes

  • Production of Formaldehyde via Methanol; via Methane; and via Formox Process

To produce Formaldehyde from methanol, a procedure known as catalytic oxidation is performed. In this process, methanol is oxidised in the presence of a catalyst like silver metal or a mixture of an iron and vanadium oxides to finally obtain Formaldehyde.

Methodology

The displayed pricing data is derived through weighted average purchase price, including contract and spot transactions at the specified locations unless otherwise stated. The information provided comes from the compilation and processing of commercial data officially reported for each nation (i.e. government agencies, external trade bodies, and industry publications).

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