CHICAGO - Demand for polyurethanes in North America next year could outstrip current supply until companies complete planned expansions, according to Dow Plastics. Dow released its PU marketplace/capacity update at the SPI Polyurethane Division's Chicago gathering, which attracted about 1,200 delegates from 29 countries.
``Supply in 1996 could be tight due to current capacity limitations, but will be eased by Dow's upcoming expansions and careful planning with customers,'' said Richard L. Beitel, Dow Plastics director of polyurethane sales in North America.
``The North American industry sees overall volume increases averaging 6-8 percent from 1994-1995,'' Beitel said. ``There could be further growth, but it will be incremental for the time being due to capacity issues.''
Comparing 1994 with 1993 industry figures, polyols grew 11 percent while toluene diisocyanate and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate demand rose 4 percent and 18 percent, respec-tively, he said.
Growth in end-use markets continue to drive polyol demand, said product manager Dean Abrassart.
TDI producers continue to operate at capacity, with U.S. trade volumes ahead of last year by about 8 percent, he said.
And because of high global demand, Dow and other key players in the market will be operating at full MDI capacity, according to product manager Scott Prochazka.