Polyurethane sales to auto industry higher in Q1, may fall in Q2 due to chip shortage - Huntsman

Author: Zachary Moore

2021/04/30

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Huntsman’s sales from its polyurethanes division into the automotive sector were higher year on year in the first quarter, but sales may see some reduction in the second quarter due to the impact of the global semiconductor shortage, CEO and President Peter Huntsman said during a Friday earnings call.

“Our first quarter sales in the automotive market were up 12% in the first quarter from the previous year as we have not seen any real impact from the chip shortage on demand for our products. We believe this is mostly due to our automotive business being mostly European-centric and focused on luxury vehicle lines,” Huntsman said.

“We are seeing a 2-3% drop in sales to the automotive sector so far in the second quarter due to chip-related production slowdowns. We have managed to reallocate much of the methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) volumes in question to other sectors and are not expecting to see any real impact on margins,” Huntsman added.

Tony Hankins, Division President, Polyurethanes commented, “The products we supply to the automotive industry are generally specialised formulations going into the high-end auto market. There are some similarities between these formulations and some of our other market segments. Some of the viscoelastic grades we supply to automotive customers also go into high-end furniture, which offers similar to even better margins than automotive. The high-end furniture market is growing at a fast rate at the moment, so there are definitely opportunities there.”