Diisocyanates and Polyisocyanates
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Published: June 2012
The TDI and MDI industries and the markets they serve are complex. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and p,p′-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) markets are expanding and China is now the largest consumer. Markets will continue to expand in developing countries in Asia, especially India and Southeast Asia.
The following pie charts show world consumption of TDI and MDI.
There is continuing consolidation in the market, and the top four producers
- Yantai Wanhua Polyurethanes
account for 72% of global market capacity.
The diisocyanates and polyisocyanates industry includes a variety of products, some of which are commodity chemicals—TDI and MDI—and others specialties, such as pure MDI and aliphatic and specialty diisocyanates. For the TDI and MDI industries, the market is very concentrated, because of technologies and capital cost barriers.
Diisocyanates and polyisocyanates are actively traded worldwide. Substantial exports of TDI and MDI go to regions such as Asia Pacific, Central and South America, and Central and Eastern Europe, as production of isocyanates in these areas is minimal.
Future growth for MDI is expected to be slightly higher than growth in GDP, while growth for TDI will approximate GDP growth. As domestic demand for MDI and TDI has slowed in recent years, some of the major producers have shut down older facilities (sometimes in conjunction with the addition of new plant capacity) and increased export volumes to the faster-growing regions of the world such as Asia Pacific, South America, and Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, most major producers have a worldwide presence—production facilities and/or joint ventures in North America, Western Europe, Japan and other regions.
The development of efficient gas-phase TDI technology and the start-up of world-scale Middle Eastern TDI and MDI plants will lead to the continued shutdown of old and/or small production facilities around the world.and/or joint ventures in North America, Western Europe, Japan and other regions of the world.