Dow declares force majeure on US MDI

Author: Zachary Moore

2020/10/01

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Dow has declared force majeure on all methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) products in the US, according to a customer letter.

The letter cited logistics and raw material constraints stemming from recent storms in the US Gulf as the reason for the declaration.

The US Gulf coast states of Texas and Louisiana, which contain the bulk of the country’s petrochemical infrastructure, have been impacted by several hurricanes and tropical storms during an active Atlantic hurricane season.

These storms have caused a number of chemical plants producing feedstocks and intermediates used in MDI production to experience shutdowns and have also disrupted logistics and transportation in the region.

MDI supplies have been tight recently both in the US and globally owing to some production disruptions along with improving demand.

According to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database, Dow operates a 340,000 tonnes/year MDI plant in Freeport, Texas.

MDI is consumed mainly in polyurethane foams, which account for about 80% of global consumption. Rigid foams, the largest outlet for MDI, are used mostly in construction, refrigeration, packaging and insulation. MDI is also used to make binders, elastomers, adhesives, sealants, coatings and fibres.

Major US MDI producers include BASF, Covestro, Dow and Huntsman.

Click here to view the US Gulf storms – impacts on chemicals topic page.

Thumbnail image shows polyurethane spray foam, which is made of MDI. Photo by Al Greenwood