The Global Tetrahydrofuran (THF) Market is projected to register a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period (2021-2026).
The market was negatively impacted due to COVID-19 in 2020. Countries like India, China, Italy, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and New Zealand went into lockdown during 2020. Moreover, owing to restrictive mass quarantines due to coronavirus, polymer, textile, paints, and coatings industries were negatively impacted. The construction industry has also been impacted, as the workers keep themselves away from the project sites, which affected the demand for paints and coatings, consequently affecting the tetrahydrofuran market. In India, construction workers are kept away from work sites, which has put a hold on almost 20,000 ongoing projects in the country. Berger Paints, India's second-largest paint company, reported a 6.5 percent drop in consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31 to INR 1,032 million (USD13.76 million). Due to COVID-19, the petrochemical industry was also negatively impacted and thus impacted the polymer industry. Owing to all these factors, the tetrahydrofuran market is negatively impacted by COVID-19.
- In the medium term, growing demand for spandex from the textile industry and increasing demand for polyvinyl chloride manufacturing are the major factors driving the market.
- On the flip side, the availability of close substitutes, hazardous nature (highly flammable and health hazard) of THF, and negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic are hindering the growth of the market.
- The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market across the world, with the largest consumption from countries, such as China, India, and Japan.
Key Market Trends
Growing Demand for Polytetramethylene Ether Glycol (PTMEG)
- Tetrahydrofuran (THF) is widely used for polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) manufacturing, which is used as a base chemical in the manufacturing of polyurethanes, and it is expected to be the fastest-growing market during the forecast period.
- More than 65% of the tetrahydrofuran produced globally is used in the manufacturing of PTMEG, which is used mainly in the production of spandex and other polyurethanes. The increasing demand for spandex in the textile industry is expected to drive the market for tetrahydrofuran during the forecast period.
- Spandex is a synthetic fabric that is composed of 85% polyurethane by weight. Spandex is a segmented polymer that contains alternating rigid and flexible segments of polyurethane.
- Due to the superior characteristics of spandex, it is used widely in women's clothing, swimsuits, casual wear, and sports fabrics to provide more comfort and elasticity. It has good strength, high uniformity, and high abrasion resistance. This is increasing its demand, which is consequently boosting the market studied.
- According to Cotton Incorporated, in 2020 28% of people in the United States feel spandex is a very safe clothing material and 27% of people feel that it is very comfortable.
- According to Covestro, the estimated demand for polyurethane worldwide in the year 2019 was 18.4 million tons and is forecasted to reach 22.5 million tons by 2024.
- The revenue from the global apparel market was estimated at USD 1.4 trillion in 2020, and it is projected to recah USD 2.2 trillion by 2025. This is expected to stimulate the market over the forecast period.
- Owing to all these factors, increasing demand for polytetramethylene ether glycol is expected to drive the market for tetrahydrofuran during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Region to Dominate the Market
- The Asia-Pacific region is expected to dominate the market for tetrahydrofuran during the forecast period, due to an increase in demand from countries, like China, India, and Japan.
- The growing textile industry in emerging economies, like China and India, is expected to drive the market during the forecast period. According to the National Bureau of Statistics China, China has amounted to around 152.66 billion yuan retail trade revenue of clothing, shoes, hats, and knitwear in December 2020, a 3.8 percent increase compared to the revenue generated in the same period of the previous year.
- The Chinese government is planning Xinjiang as the hotbed for the textile and apparel manufacturing and has invested USD 8 billion. It is expected that China's northwest region is to become the country's largest textile production base by 2030.
- In India, the rising per capita income, favorable demographics, and a shift in preference to branded products boost the demand for the textile industry, thus, boosting the market studied. According to the IBEF, the textile industry in India is estimated to reach about USD 220 billion by 2025.
- Apart from the textile industry, THF is mainly used as a solvent in various processes in pharmaceutical industries, along with minor applications being from paints and coatings, adhesives, and magnetic tapes.
- In the pharmaceutical industry, THF is used to synthesize cough serum, rifamycin, progesterone, and other hormone drugs and as a reaction medium in the Grignard synthesis process. India's pharmaceutical industry occupies a 20% share in global supply by volume, and it is placed third worldwide for the production by volume. The increasing demand and expansion of pharmaceutical industries are expected to drive the market for THF.
- According to Government of India, the Indian pharma industry market size is expected to reach USD 130 billion by 2030. Also India has provided pharmaceutical products to more than 200 countries and will continue to do so in the future. India has reached INR 3650 crore Foreign Direct Investment inflows in pharmaceutical sector in 2019-20, a recorded growth of 98% year on year.
- Further, India holds a significant position in the global pharmaceuticals sector. India is the largest producer of generic drugs in the world. The Indian pharmaceutical industry caters to more than 50% of the global demand for various vaccines, 40% of the demand for generic medicine in the United States, and 25% of the demand for all medicines in the United Kingdom.
- China is the second-largest market for pharmaceuticals, globally. The market for pharmaceuticals is emerging rapidly, owing to the growing middle-class and aging society present in the country, rising incomes, and increasing urbanization. The pharmaceutical sales of the country is expected to reach up to USD 175 billion by 2022. This is expected to boost the growth of tetrahydrofuran (THF) used in the pharmaceutical applications.
- The aforementioned factors, coupled with government support, are contributing to the increasing demand for tetrahydrofuran (THF) market in Asia-Pacific during the forecast period.
The global tetrahydrofuran (THF) market is partially fragmented with major players accounting for a marginal share of the market. Few companies include Ashland, BASF SE, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, DCC, and Banner Chemicals Limited.
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