The market for tetrahydrofuran is expected to register a CAGR of 6% globally during the forecast period. Growing demand for spandex from the textile industry and increasing demand for polyvinyl chloride manufacturing are driving the market. On the flip side, the availability of close substitutes and hazardous nature (highly flammable and health hazard) of THF are hindering the growth of the market.
- The tetrahydrofuran market is expected to grow during the forecast period, owing to the increasing demand for polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The 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 Development and Reform Commission, China’s domestic sales of apparel and knitwear stood at around USD 172.4 billion for the first 11 months of 2019, representing growth of about 3% year-on-year over the same time period in 2018.
- 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.
- 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 players accounting for a marginal share of the market. Few companies include Ashland, BASF SE, DCC, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, and Banner Chemicals Limited.
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