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The urea formaldehyde market remains highly fragmented, with a number of mid-sized and emerging players competing for market share. The growing regulations are influencing market players to develop urea formaldehyde based adhesives with lower formaldehyde emissions. The leading players in the market, including BASF SE, Advachem, Ashland Inc., Ineos Group, Georgia-Pacific, and Hexion Inc account for around 8% - 10% of the urea-formaldehyde market.
Key urea formaldehyde manufacturers are focusing on developing and upgrading their products with lower formaldehyde emissions through resin formulation/composition innovation and novel manufacturing techniques. Some of the notable developments in the urea formaldehyde market are,
- Chemicals giant and a key manufacturer of urea resins and formaldehyde resins, Ineos Group, is building a new chemical plant in Antwerp, Belgium, for the gas-altering facilities at a cost of US $3.42 billion. The hefty investment is expected to change the picture of chemical sector and will offer varied benefits to the Belgium and other European economies.
- A leading player in urea formaldehyde market, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC, has recently introduced a novel line of resins, specially designed to cater to the needs of the powder coating manufacturers. Earlier, Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC created a resin that can help manufacturers offer coatings composed of lower volatile organic compounds (VOC).
- BASF SE, one of the leading urea formaldehyde manufacturers, is investing Rs. 16,000 crore in setting up a petrochemical production hub in Gujarat, as a part of a joint venture with Adani Group, which is the largest private thermal power producer in India.
- Acron Group, another prominent player in urea formaldehyde market, has set up a subsidiary Acron Brasil Ltd in Săn Paulo, Brazil, as a part of a strategic plan to deeper penetrate the market. This move is strategically aimed at delivering comprehensive service to customers in Brazil while driving the sales of its own and other third-party products.
- A leading methanol and formaldehyde producer, Metafrax, has inked an agreement with Switzerland-based Casale SA, to jointly build urea, melamine, and ammonia facility in Gubakhka. The substantial part of products will be used onsite to manufacture synthetic gums and UFC as melamine feedstock.
Some of the key players operating in the global urea formaldehyde market are BASF SE, Advachem, Ashland Inc., Ineos Group, Georgia-Pacific, Acron Group, Hexion Inc., CHIMICA POMPONESCO S.P.A., OJSV "Perechin timber and chemical plant", PJSC METAFRAX, Achema, Asta Chemicals Sdn. Bhd., etc.
Growing Applications in Thriving Wood Industry Generating Opportunities
Urea formaldehyde (UF) products, commonly referred to as aminoplasts, are increasingly gaining traction in the wood industry on account of their cost-effectiveness and robust strength. They are being widely used in the wood industry for manufacturing particleboards, fibrous boards, medium density fiber boards, and granular boards. Owing to their numerous features, such as cost-effectiveness, resistance to mold formation, easy adaptability in diverse curing conditions, low cure temperature, exceptional thermal properties, and excellent water solubility of the (uncured) resin, these resins are gaining prominence as a key wood adhesive.
End-User Preference for Urea Formaldehyde Alternatives Growing Owing to Toxicity Concerns
Despite their widespread use, formaldehyde based adhesives continue to trigger concerns, owing to their potential health impact. As formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen, the rising toxicity concerns raised by health and environmental organizations, key regulators, and end-users are influencing urea formaldehyde manufacturers to develop new urea resins, formaldehyde resins and urea-formaldehyde resins, which emit formaldehyde in negligible amount.
Manufacturers’ instant action to address such concerns is in turn likely to maintain buoyancy
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Applications in Automotive and Aircraft Sector Create Sustained Opportunities
As formaldehyde has numerous useful chemical properties, it is increasingly gaining traction as an important chemical building block in a wide range of applications. The growing intermediate applications of formaldehyde-based resins in automotive, aircraft, construction, clothing and healthcare industries continues to create growth opportunities for the players in urea formaldehyde market.
Urea Formaldehyde Ban in Poultry Feed in EU Can Adversely Impact Sales
Since the beginning of 2018, the adoption of formaldehyde in poultry feed is witnessing a complete ban in the European Union (EU). Poultry farmers can no longer use formaldehyde as a preservative and hygiene condition enhancer. As poultry feed is a multi-billion market in Europe, urea formaldehyde manufacturers are likely to face a significant impact due to the blanket ban issued by European Commission.
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