China energy curtailments disrupt key flame-retardant feedstock

Author: Al Greenwood

2021/10/22

HOUSTON (ICIS)--China's energy curtailments had disrupted supplies for yellow phosphorous, a key raw material used to make flame retardants used in polymers, US-based Celanese said on Friday.

"Pretty much all of the yellow phosphorus that's used to make flame retardants comes out of Yunnan province," said Lori Ryerkerk, Celanese CEO. She made her comments during an earnings conference call.

Production of yellow phosphorus was curtailed as part of China's energy cuts, Ryerkerk said.

Supplies of yellow phosphorus should improve next year, she said.

Scarce supplies of flame retardants were among the reasons that limited production in the company's Engineered Materials segment in the third quarter.

Glass fibre and certain resins were also in short supply, the company said.

The shortages in those resins have mostly been resolved, Ryerkerk said. Supplies of glass fibre should improve in 2022.

Products made in the Engineered Materials include nylon compounds, polypropylene (PP) compounds and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). It also makes polyoxymethylene (POM) and ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE). POM is also known as polyacetal.