The Woodlands, Texas – Sales at Huntsman were $2.4bn in the first quarter of 2022. This is up 30.0% on the same period last year. Earnings were up 46% at $415m.
Bullish Q1 at Huntsman
In the company's largest division, polyurethanes, sales rose by 29.8% to $1.4bn in the first quarter. This compares to $1.1bn in the equivalent period in 2021.
Adjusted EBITDA in the division rose 8.2% to$224m, up from $207m in the 2021 quarter.
The polyurethanes business benefited from higher MDI prices and increased demand in all regions.
Speaking to analysts, CEO Peter Huntsman said his company is focused on higher margin business and on cost reductions. He told analysts that it has left some TPU businesses in the Asia footwear sector because they can't get pricing or pass-through prices or increased margins. ‘To get the best value, we'll move somewhere else,' he said.
'We'll be operating our MDI splitter at Geismar, Louisiana. This will also allow us to negotiate contracts on our commodity MDI sales,’ he said. ‘We operate one of these facilities in China and Europe. This will not take six months to start. We've identified customers and market segment and we're going to hit the ground running.'
The company has been supplying the market with split MDI grades from China and Europe to build the market ahead of the start. The only delay in getting it to full output, if all goes well is the time needed to qualify product from the new facility to customers, he said.
The new splitter will also give the sales team scope to move into higher added value areas.
He is very bullish about spray foam. 'High [energy] costs are helping,’ he said. ‘We're sold out because we're making as much as we can; we have a five-week backlog. There is strong demand in building material.'