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Huntsman CEO: Polyurethane supplies to be tight

By: RUBBER & PLASTICS NEWS

May 29, 2013

NEW YORK — The North American and European markets for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate-based polyurethanes are going to be tight over the next two years, and Huntsman Corp. will be buying MDI from other sources, according to its CEO.

Peter Huntsman, speaking at a Goldman Sachs Basic Materials Conference recently, said his firm "is really in a sold-out position. By the end of this year, we'll be actually buying products from our competitors in order to meet our own customer demands."

The housing market is driving Huntsman's business. He is seeing an upside for polyurethane materials in housing because polyurethane systems have substituted for a number of other materials, such as formaldehyde.

Huntsman says polyurethane use continues to grow at about 7 to 8.5 percent per year. He said that much of this has been due to the explosion in use in Asia over the past 10 years. Asia is the "largest single market for consuming MDI," he said, overtaking Europe and North America.