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Isocynates are a family of low molecular weight molecules with high reactivity. These chemicals are pre-dominantly used in the manufacturing of polyurethane foams. Others prominent areas of applications include elastomers, paints & coatings, wood binders, etc. The prices of isocynates are highly volatile and manufacturers have to balance their operating rates to avoid oversupply in the market. The fluctuations in polyurethane demand directly impacts the demand for isocynates. Moreover, high cost of upstream crude oil & benzene squeezes the profit margins of the manufacturers.
Foam industry, particularly PU foam, accounts for lion’s share in the isocynates market. Methylene Diphenyl Diisocyanate (MDI) is dominantly used in the manufacturing of rigid PU foam that indeed have healthy consumption in construction, refrigerators, packaging and insulation industries. On the other hand, toluene diisocyanate (TDI) is significantly used in the manufacturing of flexible PU foam, that are widely used in furniture, automotive seats, mattresses, etc. Besides it is also used in paints & coatings industry that strongly supports its growth.
Key Market Driver -
Staggering Isocynates demand from foam manufacturers to drive the global isocynates market.
Key Market Restraint -
Stringent environmental & health regulations on the production & exposure of isocynates restricts the market growth.
However, isocynates manufacturing is exposed to various regulations including exposure limits that impacts the market growth. Isocynates are highly fatal for the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal, respiratory tracts and eyes. Direct cotact with the skin can cause marked inflammation. Workers are reported to have severe asthma problems and have even caused deaths. Manufacturers have to meet the manufacturing standards set by the authorities. Engineering designs such as closed systems and proper ventilation are critical steps of minimizing the exposure of isocynates to the workers.
On the basis of type, the isocynates market is segmented into methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI), and others (aliphatic & cycloaliphatic). On the basis of application, the isocynates market is segmented into foams (rigid & flexible), paints & coatings, elastomers, adhesives & sealants and others.
From a geographical standpoint, the market is categorized into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.
The global isocynates market is fairly fragmented with a number of key players operating in the market. Some of the prominent manufacturers in the global isocynates market include- The Dow Chemical Company, Hanwha Chemical, Huntsman Corporation, Anderson Development Company, BASF SE, Evonik Industries, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd., Tosoh Corporation, Asahi Kasei Advance Corporation, Kumho Mitsui Chemicals, and others.
On a geographical basis, the isocynates market is segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Asia-Pacific dominates the global market in terms of consumption on the back of strong demand from countries such as China, India, Taiwan, Thailand, etc. The construction industry is experiencing steady growths in the Asia-Pacific region which has strongly backed the isocynates market growth. The resurgent construction industry in North America is expected to create sound growth opportunities over the forecast period. However, trade conflicts may impact the supply and cause trade imbalance. North America is one of the prominent manufacturers of isocynates in the world and any irregularity in trade arising due to conflicts can severely impact the business in the region. Europe is undergoing transition phase with number of changes in environmental and trade policies.
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BREXIT deal is expected to impact the construction industry in UK. As per the estimates at least 750 thousand non UK EU citizens work in the construction industry. After, the completion of BREXIT deal, the sector is expected to witness slowdown due to the crunch of workers and trade policy changes. This in turn will impact the isocynates market growth over the forecast period. Latin America & Middle East are relatively small markets of isocynates. The PU foam manufacturers in the Middle East region are the prime consumers of isocynates in the region. The demand in Latin America region is driven on the back of relatively developed economies such as Brazil and Mexico. The economic and political turbulence in the region is expected to hamper the isocynate market growth over the forecast period.
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