US isocyanates prices rise on higher feedstock, stronger demand

26 May 2011 00:17  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US prices for isocyanates and polyols have increased because of higher feedstock costs and stronger demand, a polyurethanes products manufacturer said on Wednesday.

Isocyanates and polyols are used to make polyurethanes.

US production of propylene, a feedstock for polyether polyols and propylene oxide derivatives, has declined as crackers turn to lighter feeds such as ethane.

The trend has increased prices for propylene, adding pressure to downstream products.

As a result, polyols and isocyanates prices have gradually increased from the beginning of 2011, even as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude values fell recently following a high of $114.83 on 2 May.

Additionally, toluene, a raw material for toluene di-isocyanates (TDI), is also in demand as an octane booster for gasoline, placing pressure on its availability.

Similarly, alternative uses for benzene keeps the feedstock for methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) in strong demand. For example, benzene is also a raw material in styrene production.

Also, a supplier said US demand for MDI in the first four months of 2011 is up 14% year on year, while demand in Latin America is up 17% in the first quarter.

Automobile demand is strong, despite news of weaker production, blamed mostly on a lack of parts usually supplied by Japan, according to sources.

For more on TDI visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Ron Coifman
+1 713 525 2653

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