The global furfural market exhibits a highly fragmented structure, with none of the leading players having significant market share, finds Transparency Market Research in a new study. In 2014, it took six players, namely, Tieling North Furfural Co. Ltd., Central Romana Corp., Illova Sugar, Xingtai Chunlei Furfuryl Alcohol Co. Ltd., KRBL Ltd., and Hongye Holding Group Corp. Ltd., to hold around 50% of the overall market.
The growing concerns over adverse environmental effect of fossil fuels, due to high carbon content, have led to an increased requirement for their ecofriendly renewable alternatives, such as biofuels, across the world. Furfural, over the past few years, has gained significant popularity as a renewable platform molecule for the synthesis of fuels and chemicals to produce biofuels and biochemicals from the low-cost and widely available biomass. This amplified popularity has rocketed its demand in the recent times.
Apart from this, the application of furfural in the pharmaceutical industry, for the production of pharmaceutical intermediaries and mixtures, has also increased considerably, as it demonstrates the properties of a natural precursor to a wide range of furan-based chemicals and solvents, including methylfuran, dihydrofuran, methyltetrahydrofuran, tetrahydrofuran, and furoic acid.
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Going forward, the ongoing expansion of the pharmaceutical industry in the emerging economies, such as India and China, owing to the presence of potential opportunities, is expected to boost the demand for furfural substantially in the years to come.
The overall opportunity in furfural, worldwide, will increase from US$450 mn in 2014 to US$1.35 bn by 2023, says an analyst at TMR. The market is expected to rise at a healthy CAGR of 13.10% during the period from 2015 to 2023.
Asia Pacific has emerged as the key consumer of furfural. The share of this region in the overall demand for furfural is likely to witness a rise from 78% in 2014 to 82.5% by the end of 2023. China leads the market for furfural in Asia Pacific. Currently, furfural is primarily utilized in the production of furfuryl alcohol. Analysts expect this trend to remain the same over the forecast period.