The North American MDI continues to be disrupted due to raw materials shortages and prices are firming once again. The surge in prices is due to lack of supply availability, even though most plants are reported to be online. Issues sourcing raw materials plus freight costs and truck shortages are adding upward pressure on MDI prices. Demand continues to do well and MDI deals are reported to have increased in Q2. Demand from downstream markets is expected to increase from the construction sector, which usually increases at this time of the year.
The European MDI market continues to firm as supply remains disrupted and availability is low. Sales allocations continue to take place due to raw materials shortages and high costs. One European buyer said there is roughly 70% sales allocation in Europe now and most producers have had issues with production. On top of local production cuts, European MDI is still being sent to the US in order to help the domestic market as the region is still struggling to go back to normal levels following the winter storm in February. Covestro is reported to be running its European units at reduced rates. Demand continues to grow from the insulation and other construction-related applications. Supply could tighten further as summer turnarounds take place.
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