09 August 2010 00:00 [Source: ICB]
Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) is mainly used in flexible polyurethane (PU) foam which has outlets in upholstery, mattresses and automotive seats.
Other uses include rigid foams and adhesives, paints, concrete sealers, and as a cross-linking agent for nylon 6 and intermediate in PU coatings and elastomers.
Demand in Europe has picked up significantly in 2010, mostly driven by markets in Central and Eastern Europe. A European buyer estimated that demand was down by 8-10% in 2009.
Demand into the mattress and upholstery sectors has picked up pretty well and the automotive sector has been good with sales of premium vehicles and exports compensating for the end of government scrappage schemes.
However, players report that ongoing polyol shortages, the coproduct in foam production, is capping demand for TDI. Supply is said to be fairly balanced.
Sweden's Perstorp bought the French plant from Lyondell Chimie in July 2008. China's Wanhua Industrial Group has bought a 38% stake in Hungary's BorsodChem, with the option for a full takeover within two years.
Most European contracts rolled over this month as bi-monthly settlements were agreed for July and August at €2,150-2,250/tonne. July fell by €20-50/tonne from June, reflecting the holidays and reduced buying interest.
Prices in the Middle East and African markets were stabilizing after recent price erosion from cheaper Asian imports. European suppliers reported prices in the region at $2,700-$2,800/tonne CFR, while prices of Asian material had stabilized between $2,500-2,600/tonne CFR.
The main route is the nitration of toluene to dinitrotoluene, followed by catalytic hydrogenation to toluene diamine, which is dissolved in an inert solvent and reacted with phosgene to produce a crude TDI solution. TDI can also be produced directly from dinitrotoluene by liquid-phase carbonylation with o-dichlorobenzene.
One-step processes based on the reaction between dinitrotoluene and carbon monoxide have been developed but not commercialized. Germany's Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) has developed a route that carries out phosgenation in the gas rather than liquid phase (see page 30).
Future growth in Europe including Russia is put at 2-3%/year, driven by Central and Eastern Europe markets. Western Europe growth is put at around GDP rates.
New investment is focused mostly in China. BMS is due to finish a 250,000 tonne/year plant in Shanghai at the end of 2010 and domestic producers plan extra capacity in 2011-2012. India's Narmada Chematur Petrochemicals will expand its plant by late 2011.
In Europe, BMS will bring on stream in 2014 a 300,000 tonne/year plant in Dormagen, Germany, replacing existing units there and in Brunsbuttel. Further investment in Europe is said to be unfeasible at present.
GLOBAL TDI CAPACITY, '000 TONNES/YEAR
Company Location Capacity BASF Geismar, Louisiana, US 160 Schwarzheide, Germany 80 Yosu, South Korea 160 Bayer Baytown, Texas, US 200 Brunsbüttel, Germany 135 Dormagen, Germany 65 BorsodChem Kazincbarcika, Hungary 90 China National Blue Star Taiyuan, China 30 Gansu Yinguang TDI Baiyin, China 80 Hebei Cangzhou Dahua Cangzhou, China 80 Isopol Produtos Quimicos Camacari, Brazil 65 KPX Fine Chemical Yosu, South Korea 100 Mitsui Chemicals Kashima, Japan 120 Omuta, Japan 130 Nan Ya Plastics Mailiao, Taiwan 30 Narmada Chematur Petrochemicals Bharuch, India 14 Nippon Polyurethane Industry Nanyo, Japan 25 OCI Company Kunsan, South Korea 50 Perstorp Pont de Claix, France 125 Petroquimica Rio Tercero Rio Tercero, Argentina 28 Shanghai BASF Polyurethane Caojing, China 160 Shanghai Wusong Chemical General Shanghai, China 40 Yantai Juli Isocyanate Laiyang, China 20 Zaklady Chemiczne Zachem Bydgoszcz, Poland 75 Source: ICIS
Profile last published January 21, 2008
Get an entire year's worth of chemical profiles
The profiles published in ICIS Chemical Business during 2009 are available on USB stick. To order, email: Sarah Creswell
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.
Sample issue >>
My Account/Renew >>
Register for online access >>
|ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies|
|Download the listing here >>|
Asian Chemical Connections