London - The polyurethanes industry has recovered to a great extent from the impact of the global recession, according to IAL Consultants, which says that total production of polyurethane products is reported at 5 449 400 tonnes in 2011 compared with almost 5.1 million tonnes in 2009 and 5.4 million tonnes in 2007.
IAL predicts that by 2016 this figure will rise to 6 351 125 tonnes, equivalent to an average growth of 3.1 percent a year over the next five years, "despite continuing concerns surrounding the global economy."
Market research experts IAL recently published the ninth edition of its report on the markets for Polyurethane Chemicals and Products in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The report contains both PU product production and raw material consumption figures with 2011 as the base year and market forecasts provided to 2016
Of the three regions considered, the polyurethane industry remains the largest in Western Europe, but growth rates are strongest in Eastern Europe and the Middle East/Africa region.
IAL says MDI and TDI are essentially marketed as commodity aromatic chemicals, with EMEA consumption of about 1.53 million tonnes and 617 000 tonnes respectively in 2011.
Demand for TDI rebounded significantly in 2010 after the economic crisis, particularly from the furniture, bedding and automotive sectors. Future growth is likely to follow GDP growth rates in Western Europe, but to be slightly higher in Eastern Europe and the Middle East/Africa. Demand in 2011 was quite flat, whereas consumption of MDI grew by around 2% in the same year.
Several new raw material facilities are currently under construction, including BASF's 300 ktpa TDI plant at Ludwigshafen, and Bayer's new TDI and MDI facilities at Dormagen and Brunsbüttel respectively (300 ktpa TDI, 220 ktpa MDI).
To serve the ever-expanding Middle Eastern markets, Dow and Saudi Aramco have established a joint venture to produce MDI, TDI, propylene oxide and polyols. This is expected to be up and running in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia in 2016.
It is likely that new polyol capacity will be required in EMEA over the forecast period in line with the world-scale isocyanate plants being built in the region, says IAL.
See more at www.ialconsultants.com