The Urethane Blog


Costs, logistics disruptions pose challenges for US Stepan polymers

Author: Antoinette Smith


HOUSTON (ICIS)–Transportation limitations and supply chain disruptions posed challenges and increased operating costs during the first half of 2021 for US-based Stepan, the company said in its Q2 earnings call on Wednesday.

Reduced truck and rail availability, due to higher demand as well as labour shortages, has caused significant delivery delays and raised prices. Imported cargoes have experienced similar issues with scarce availability for container ships.

“As transportation has been limited, it has created less flexibility to respond to changes in demand,” said F Quinn Stepan Jr, company chairman and CEO.

The company also has experienced raw materials shortages, particularly for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), which is reacted with polyols to make polyurethane foams, and flame retardants, said Scott Behrens, president and COO of Stepan.

Stepan products are used in a variety of sectors, including coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers; construction; cleaning; insulation; oilfield; and personal care.