Furfural Market Analysis: Trends and Forecasts

The report Furfural Market by Raw Material (Sugarcane Bagasse, Corncob, Rice Husk), Application (Derivatives, Solvents), End-Use Industry (Agriculture, Paint & Coatings, Pharmaceuticals, Food & Beverages, Refineries), and Region – Global Forecast to 2028″, size is projected to grow from USD 662 million in 2023 to USD 767 million by 2028, at a CAGR of 2.9% from 2023 to 2028.

Furfural is a versatile chemical compound derived from agricultural by-products like corncobs and sugarcane bagasse.  Its multifaceted end-use industries include pharmaceuticals, agriculture, paints & coatings etc. The furfural market, a comprehensive ecosystem from production to end-use, is influenced by various factors. A key driver is the increasing demand for sustainable alternatives, propelling the market forward. However, raw material price fluctuations serve as a market restraint. The challenge lies in overcoming constraints related to low productivity and feedstock concentration. On the brighter side, the market presents an opportunity for technological innovations to enhance productivity and capitalize on the rising demand for eco-friendly solutions. In the broader landscape of bio-based chemicals, the furfural market symbolizes a collective stride towards greener and more sustainable industrial practices.

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Browse in-depth TOC on “Furfural Market”

304 – Tables
40 – Figures
242 – Pages

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Furfural Market Segments

Furfural Market, By Raw Material

  • Sugarcane Bagasse
  • Corncob
  • Rice Husk
  • Others
Furfural Market Analysis: Trends and Forecasts

The corncob raw material segment dominated the furfural market in 2022.

Corncob emerges as the predominant raw material segment. This prominence is attributed to the extensive use of corncob in furfural production, primarily owing to its rich content of xylose and pentosan. These essential components play a pivotal role in the synthesis process, undergoing conversion into furfural. The high presence of xylose and pentosan in corncob not only makes it a preferred raw material but also underscores its significance in contributing to the overall production and availability of furfural within the market. 

Furfural Market, By Application

  • Derivatives
  • Solvents
  • Others

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The derivatives segment is estimated to be the largest application segment in the furfural market in forecast period.

The derivatives application is poised to experience accelerated growth in the upcoming forecast period, primarily propelled by robust demand from diverse end-use industries. Furfuryl Alcohol (FA) emerges as a key derivative within this application, serving as a major consumer and accounting for a substantial portion of the global furfural production. The high demand from various sectors underscores the increasing significance of derivatives, particularly Furfuryl Alcohol, in driving the overall expansion of the furfural market.

Furfural Market, By End-Use Industry

  • Agriculture
  • Paint & Coatings
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food & Beverages
  • Refineries
  • Others

The agriculture segment is estimated to be the largest end-use industry segment in the furfural market in the forecast period.

Agriculture stands as the largest end-use industry in the furfural market, and this dominance can be attributed to the versatile applications of furfural-derived products in the agricultural sector. Furfural serves as a vital component in the synthesis of agrochemicals and pesticides, playing a crucial role in enhancing crop protection and yield. The agricultural industry’s reliance on furfural underscores its efficacy in addressing various agricultural challenges, making it an indispensable element for sustainable and efficient agricultural practices.

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Furfural Market, By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • South America
  • Middle East & Africa 

Asia Pacific is projected to account for the largest share of the furfural market during the forecast period.

In 2022, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region led the global furfural market, with China playing a pivotal role as the primary driver of growth. China holds the majority share in both the production and consumption of furfural on a global scale. This surge in demand can be primarily attributed to the burgeoning foundry and pharmaceutical industries within the country. The robust growth in these sectors has propelled the need for furfural, given its versatile applications. Notably, Thailand has also emerged as a significant player. The dynamic industrial landscape and increasing demand for furfural-based products in these key nations underscore the region’s leadership in the overall furfural market.

Key Players

Central Romana Corporation (Dominican Republic), Pennakem (US), Silvateam (Italy), Illovo Sugar (South Africa), Hongye Holding Group Corporation Limited (China), KRBL Limited (India), Lenzing AG(Austria), and Merck KGaA (Germany), amongst others, are the key players operating in the furfural market. Expansions, acquisitions, joint ventures, and new product developments are some of the major strategies adopted by these key players to enhance their positions in the furfural market.

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Central Romana Corporation: Established in 1912, Central Romana Corporation has become a prominent force in the furfural and furfuryl alcohol industry. Originating in the Dominican Republic as “Romana By-Products,” the company’s growth has been significant. In 1973, it underwent a substantial expansion, boosting furfural production to 90 million pounds annually, solidifying its position as one of the world’s largest furfural plants. A key milestone occurred in 1995 with the acquisition of TransFurans Chemicals (TFC), a furfural processing plant based in Belgium. TFC specializes in converting furfural into furfuryl alcohol, adding another dimension to Central Romana’s global presence.

Lenzing AG, a company engaged in textile fiber and pulp manufacturing, as well as the production of chemicals, paper, films, and plastics, operates through three distinct business segments: Division Fiber, Division Pulp, and Others. Setting itself apart, Lenzing manufactures furfural as a biorefinery product, uniquely utilizing wood as its raw material. With a robust global footprint, the company boasts production sites and sales offices spanning Europe, the Americas, the Middle East & Africa, and North Asia.

Hongye Holding Group Corporation Limited: Established in 1998 and headquartered in Puyang City, China, Hongye Holding Group Corporation Limited has transformed into a comprehensive enterprise group. Operating across diverse industries such as biochemical engineering, new energy, new materials, vegetable functional beverages, logistics, and international trade, the company has established an extensive production infrastructure. Hongye Holding Group manufactures a range of products, including sodium percarbonate, thiourea dioxide, furfuryl alcohol, furfural, ester alcohol C-12, and canned beverages.

Recent Developments

  • Fortum announced a new biorefinery project in Assam, India. It is expected to start production in 2024. The biore­finery is a joint venture of the Indian oil refinery company Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), Chempolis and Fortum.
  • In June 2023, Origin Materials announced startup of origin 1, world’s first commercial CMF (chloromethyl furfural) plant.
  • In May 2021, The Kilombero Sugar Company, in which Illovo Sugar Africa holds 75% of the share share announced a major expansion project. This new development will increase the company’s sugar production from 127 000 tons of sugar per annum, to 271 000 tons.
  • In May 2019 Pennakem, LLC, obtained the approval of use of its renewable solvent Viridisol M as a raw material authorized for natural detergents and natural detergents made with organic raw materials.
  • In May 2017, The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted its “biobased” certificate to Lenzing Group’s acetic acid, furfural. This highlighted a significant strength in the company’s commitment to sustainability.