06 August 2009 21:57 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) will continue to be a growth driver as the construction industry looks to increase energy conservation, Huntsman CEO Peter Huntsman said on Thursday during the company’s quarterly conference call.
In a dramatic turnaround, second-quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) in Huntsman’s polyurethanes business unit surged by $87m (€60m) in the second quarter, up by more than 200% from the $27m reported during the first quarter of 2009, the company said.
The second-quarter figures were still down 41% from last year’s $148m.
The US-based chemicals major said it expected improved sales in Asia, fuelled by recent stimulus packages, but warned that the demand outlook in the US for the rest of 2009 remained lacklustre.
China, the world’s third biggest economy, introduced late last year a strong fiscal stimulus package to ensure an annual GDP growth of 8% this year.
Huntsman said polyurethane segment sales volumes quarter on quarter were up by 14% to $695m in the second quarter.
MDI is a feedstock chemical mainly used in polyurethane foams, which account for about 80% of global MDI consumption. MDI is mostly used in construction, refrigeration, packaging and insulation.
The MDI market is expected to grow at twice the rate of GDP growth with considerable investment focused on China, where demand is expected to grow up to 15%/year.
In addition to Huntsman, major US MDI producers include Dow Chemical, BASF and Bayer.
($1 = €0.69)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|