Everberg, Belgium - Huntsman Corp. says it intends to try and raise prices for all its MDI products and MDI-based systems in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and Indian Sub-Continent markets from 1 April 2013. The company is hoping for an additional $150/tonne for these materials.
Nick Webster, Vice President, Europe for Polyurethanes, said: "This price increase is necessary to address the exposure we have been facing for some time from the escalation in raw materials prices, especially benzene."
Truong Mellor, analyst at ICIS, an online pricing service, said that while the price of benzene in Europe, which is priced in dollars, was down in the March settlement at $1380/tonne, this was a price rise in Euro terms. It has come down from a high of around $1500/tonne in the past few months.
He added that fundamentally, the price of benzene is likely to remain high in the medium term because of change to the raw materials the producers are using. There are a number of shutdowns in areas like styrene, that are currently reducing demand slightly, but there is fundamental as shift away from naphtha, driven a range of factors including increased use of shale gas as a feedstock in the US.