China's Yantai Wanhua to further develop PU applications

17 April 2012 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

MAASTRICHT, the Netherlands (ICIS)--Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes will look to further develop new polyurethane (PU) applications and specialities to help mitigate a demand slowdown in China resulting from reduced consumer confidence, company chairman Ding Jiansheng said on Tuesday. 

Methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) demand has grown in China by 25% over the last 10 years, largely driven by rapid urbanisation, compared to a more modest but respectable 7% in the rest of the world, said Jiansheng.

However, consumption has been slowing since 2011 because of the withdrawal of stimulus packages and waning purchasing power, the chairman said in a keynote paper at the three day Utech Europe conference.

To compensate for this, Yantai Wanhua said the PU industry is in transition and needs to focus on adding value to products. Jiansheng said “the value growth from commodities has reached its peak, whereas specialities is at the base of the curve”, therefore with upward potential possible.

Future opportunities include in building insulation, because in contrast to Japan and western Europe, China still has some scope to focus on this sector, especially in relation to the 12th five-year Development Plan which will require 2.5bn tonnes of PU over the next five years. 

In addition, there is a drive towards more environmentally friendly materials such as PU, which will mean more PU usage as a binding agent in strawboard and composite boards.

Also, high-end speciality applications are “still in their infancy”, said Jiansheng, but also represent other demand areas which can be further explored, such as in synthetic leather and vehicle coatings. In the future, China should shift from the investment area for base chemicals to specialities, added Jiansheng.

By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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