The Urethane Blog

MDI Update

Huntsman Shares Climb After

Fatal Blast at Competitor’s Factory


Huntsman Corp. rose the most in more than two months after a fatal explosion at a Chinese competitor’s plant raised expectations that polyurethane-chemical prices will rise.

The blast that killed four people occurred during maintenance at a Wanhua Chemical Group Co. plant Tuesday in Yantai City, China, where the company is based, according to a company statement.

The plant accounts for 8 percent of the global supply of MDI, Aleksey Yefremov, an analyst at Nomura Securities International, said in a note Wednesday. The chemical, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, is used to make polyurethanes in hundreds of applications, such as foam cushioning and rigid insulation.

Huntsman stands to benefit should the explosion extend the month long plant shutdown as that would further tighten the MDI market in Asia, Yefremov said. Wanhua is the world’s biggest producer of MDI, followed by BASF SE, Covestro AG, Huntsman and Dow Chemical Co., according to Nomura.

Huntsman, which is based in Salt Lake City and run from The Woodlands, Texas, advanced 5.2 percent to $15.33 at 10:42 a.m. in New York. The shares earlier rose as much as 8.9 percent, the biggest intraday gain since July 8. Covestro rose 1.7 percent in Germany, while BASF and Dow increased less than 1 percent.