23 January 2013 04:31 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Kumho Mitsui plans to shut its methylene di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) facility in Yeosu, South Korea, in mid-March for three weeks of annual maintenance, a company official said on Wednesday.
The facility has a nameplate capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year, after completing a 50,000 tonne/year expansion in August 2012.
Ahead of the shutdown, the company intends to prepare inventories and will have limited volumes for export in February and March, the official said.
Anticipating a supply tightness in the MDI market, Kumho Mitsui may propose a price hike of $100/tonne (€75/tonne), or higher, in the next round of discussions with export customers, the official said.
Kumho Mitsui controls about half of the domestic South Korean MDI market.
For the week ended 16 January, polymeric MDI prices in China were assessed at $2,200-2,300/tonne CFR (cost and freight), while pure MDI prices were at $2,600-2,700/tonne CFR, unchanged from the previous week, according to ICIS.
MDI reacts with polyols to manufacture polyurethane (PU), which has diverse applications ranging from heat insulating construction materials, refrigerators, synthetic leather, automotive components, spandex and shoe soles.
Founded in 1989, Kumho Mitsui Chemicals is a 50:50 joint venture between South Korea’s Kumho Petrochemical and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals.
($1 = €0.75)
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