HOUSTON (ICIS)–BASF has declared force majeure on US supplies of methyl di-p phenylene isocyanate (MDI), ICIS learned on Thursday.
The company cited operational disruptions stemming from severe winter weather along the US Gulf Coast as the main reason for their force majeure declaration.
BASF operates a 290,000 tonnes/year MDI plant in Geismar, Louisiana.
Dow also declared force majeure on MDI supplies from its 340,000 tonnes/year MDI unit in Freeport, Texas, earlier in the week.
US buyers had been hoping to see stable pricing, or possibly even some price relief, on MDI at the start of the year following the significant run-up in prices that occurred in 2017 owing to persistently tight supply.
However, with supply disruptions impacting a significant portion of US MDI capacity, prices are likely to remain steady or even move higher over the short term.
ICIS raised its US MDI assessments by a cumulative amount of 53 cents/lb ($1,168/tonne) over the course of 2017.
Major US MDI producers include Dow, BASF, Huntsman and Covestro.
Image above shows polyurethane foam, which is made with MDI. Source: Design Pics Inc/REX/Shutterstock