It has undoubtedly been a challenging year for the isocyanates industry. The MDI and TDI markets have been plagued by a series of production upsets, which have resulted in prices being pushed to ever increasing levels. Producer margins have been stellar, which has been the source of much angst and frustration among many buyers, who have struggled with higher costs and supply limitations this year.
In general, the market has continued to accept the increases with bated breath, and to a certain extent, the situation was beginning to ease somewhat. Even though some markets were faring better than others, the overall improvement in supply availability has led to renewed hope that the end of the increases is near. However, Hurricane Harvey in the US has thrown a spanner in the works, with some seeing that the market recovery has again been pushed back by at least a few more months. So when will the tide change and prices begin to come down? And perhaps more importantly, will prices ever return to the levels they once were before all these disruptions began?
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