TDI prices in Mexico face downward pressure from offshore suppliers

07 October 2011 20:06  [Source: ICIS news]

MEXICO CITY (ICIS)--Toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) prices in Mexico are under downward pressure from lower-priced Asian and European product offered through traders, a polyurethanes (PU) industry source said on Friday.

PU market participants said 2011 has been a difficult year in Mexico, given the volatility and uncertainties of the global economy and the devaluation of the Mexican peso against the dollar. These issues are expected to remain the focus of concern in 2012, the source said on the sidelines of the 17th annual PLASTIMAGEN international plastics exposition and conference.

Market participants also worry that higher polyols and isocyanates prices will lead to substitution of PU foam with cloth, cotton, other natural fibres and recycled products.

However, limited discussion was heard over prices for PU feedstocks, including TDI, methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) polyether and polyester polyols, which were perceived as stable during September, the source said.

Flexible slab polyurethanes demand is steady, while seasonal fluctuations have smoothed out over the years, on changing consumer buying patterns.

Previous sales peaks for Mother’s Day and for the year-end holidays are less pronounced, as gifts of bedding and furniture are giving way to electronic items. Also, as families entertain more outside the home, it is less important to show off new living room furniture.

The discussion of environmentally green polyols as raw material for PU foam has become less intense, the source said, because crude-oil based polyols remain much cheaper. Polyols derived from renewable feedstocks might have easier entry into the market only if they are cheaper than crude-oil based and if they do not disrupt the food chain.

By: Ron Coifman
+1 713 525 2653

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