16 April 2013 17:25 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Dow Chemicals and BASF’s methyl di-p-phenylene isocyanate (MDI) operations at Stade, Germany and Antwerp, Belgium continue to run at reduced rates so far in April due to ongoing feedstock constraints, respective company sources said on Tuesday.
Dow Chemical’s MDI facility, which has capacity to produce 200,000-220,000 tonnes/year, is not expected to resume normal output until the beginning of May – around the time of the expected completion of upstream plant maintenance at its other site.
Dow Chemical’s MDI unit has been running at restricted rates since the fourth quarter of 2012, a situation that has mainly been linked to feedstock constraints.
BASF’s MDI plant at Antwerp, in Belgium - which has a nameplate capacity of 560,000 tonnes/year and is the largest MDI unit in Europe - has been subject to reduced operating rates since February 2013. This was because of upstream supply limitations. Further details about a possible timeframe for the reduced MDI output was not available.
The crude MDI market is described as sufficient despite these output constraints, as they have been mitigated by weak demand. The main downstream use for crude MDI is in the construction sector, which has been seasonally and economically reduced during the first quarter.
Pure MDI supply remains more restricted however, because of its lower yield when compared with crude MDI and the fact that its demand has been reasonable-to-good for the season during the first few months of the year.
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