The domestic TDI market had a sharp rise in price in 2016. Although there was no new TDI production capacity globally, the export still increased due to successive equipment failure in TDI units in oversea market. With increase in both domestic demand and export, the domestic TDI market price rose significantly.
The figure above indicates that the total production of TDI in China is 840,000 tons in 2016, taking 31% of global production. At the same time, international enterprise’s capacity accounts for half of total China domestic capacity.
BASF was hit by explosion and Covestro operated at reduced capacity due to a production outage at a supplier of nitric acid in 2016, which forced them to reallocate their supply globally. In addition, the close of units of Mitsui and Vencorex provided the opportunity to China domestic TDI manufacturers to enlarge their oversea market with growth in export volume and a sharp domestic price raise.
In 2017, the TDI market price remains high and shows a significant increase from early February.
In foreign market, BASF faces prolonged shut-down after chemical sites explosion in Ludwigshafen on October 2016, and company source said that they will start the new TDI units in 2017 and the maintenance work is unlikely to be completed until 2018. The units will be shut down intermittently during that time, but they will utilize their global TDI supply network to guarantee security of supply. They also reveal that they will shut their TDI unit in South Korea for regular maintenance.
In domestic market, Gansu Yinguang and Southeast Electrochemical have regular maintenance plan in 2017, and there is no enough stock in the market. It is said that BASF in Shanghai and Cangzhou Dahua are also going to shut their TDI units for maintenance, and the TDI supply is estimated to be tighter later. It shows that BASF TDI listed price rose to 36,000RMB per ton in late February, much higher than the inventory price.
Chinese export volume of TDI is 8,525 tons, increasing by 234% comparing with 2,551 tons in January 2016, with the price of 2,790RMB per ton. The main export markets concentrate in Taiwan, Philippine and India.
In March, the domestic manufacturers haven’t offered the updated quotes, but the high price makes many purchasers reluctant to lock in at current levels.
In view of the above, although upward pressure on TDI price slows the purchasing , the TDI market price perhaps still remain in high consolidation due to tight supply globally.