The Urethane Blog

Chinese TDI Update

Why the TDI Price Move in a Different Pattern This Year?

2018-12-04    [Source:PUdaily]


  1. Price movement throughout the year

The pattern of global TDI price movement for the full year takes shape as the year of 2018 is drawing to an end. This year, both prices in Renminbi and dollar terms show a downward trend. This is mainly because the facilities of BASF in Germany (with an annual capacity of 300,000 tons) and Sadara in Saudi Arabia (with an annual capacity of 200,000 tons) started normal operation, leading to increased global supply. On the other hand, due to the slowing global economy and growing uncertainties, the growth in demand slows, putting downward pressure on the prices.

But the Renminbi price and dollar one show different patterns of decline. Overall, the dollar price drops sharply. In contrast, the decline of Renminbi price is slower. In May and August, the price even bounced back. But in September and October, on the news that Wanhua put its new facilities into production, the price fell sharply. The patterns of decline are different because few of the additional TDI products from Germany and Saudi Arabia entered China as they mainly went to foreign markets. From January to September, over 11,000 tons of goods from Saudi Arabia entered China, only accounting for about 1% of domestic TDI consumption. This means limited impact on domestic demand and supply. In addition, it is worth mentioning that China exported more than 66,000 tons of TDI for the January-September period, decreasing by about 22% from the same period last year.

  1. Average price for the full year
    The table below shows the TDI average price for 2017-2018. As for the average prices in Renminbi terms, the lower price is offered by Chinese manufacturers in east China, and the higher price is offered by foreign producers in Shanghai. In terms of the average prices in dollar terms, they reflect the price of goods sold in southeast Asia by Japanese and South Korean manufacturers. From the table it can be seen that although the global TDI price is on a downward trajectory, the average price remain high throughout the year, suggesting that TDI manufacturers can still make decent profits. Besides, benefitting from the faster decline in raw material cost than in sponge price the profits of downstream manufacturers rally. However, the dealers are faced with a difficult situation this year. The distinct pattern of price movement compared with the previous years and growing uncertainties have made their decision-making on trading more difficult. As a result, it is harder for them to make a profit.
  2018 (January-November) 2017 (January-November) Change
Average price in RMB 29,080-29,864 31,087-31,802 -6%
Asian average price in USD 3,667-3,802 3,790-3,904 -3%


3.Recent price movement
The recent TDI price has broken the law that the price will surely fall after it consolidates for a while. In the second half of November, the price neither went up nor fell. It didn’t go up because whether Wanhua would put into production its new facilities remained uncertain. And it didn’t fall due to short supply of goods from Shanghai. During the second half of the month, the trading remained thin and the market players were pessimistic about the future. The long sideways movement suggests that currently balance has been struck between supply and demand. The future movement of the price depends more on supply and demand than market players’ mentality.