RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)–Latin America’s polyurethane (PU) sector is facing tight regional supply amid persistent global shortages, sources said on Tuesday.
Polyol distributors have been asked to implement sales allocations owing to a shortage of PU’s co-feedstock toluene di-isocyanate (TDI), according to sources.
Latin America has been facing a TDI shortage as globally tight supply for the product has crimped availability to the region.
The sources were speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA).
Asian suppliers have been limiting TDI allocations to Latin America as they can obtain better netbacks in their own markets, while exporters from the US have been heard to be diverting export allocations to Europe, where persistent problems at BASF’s new 300,000 tonnes/year TDI plant in Ludwigshafen have kept availability short, sources added.
US’ TDI supplies also shortened following Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall at the end of August, which prompted a force majeure declaration from Covestro’s 220,000 tonne/year plant in Baytown, Texas.
Covestro’s force majeure remained in place for two months before being lifted on 30 October.
Latin America’s TDI market typically receives most import volumes from Asia and the US.
The APLA annual meeting run in Rio de Janeiro on 11-14 November.