World Analysis – MDI

  • Market Overview
  • Key Benefits
  • Service Features
  • Annual Table of Contents

Market Overview

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

Diisocyanates and polyisocyanates are reactive intermediates, which typically are reacted with the hydroxyl groups of polyol coreactants to form polyurethanes. The most widely used diisocyanates and polyisocyanates are aromatic in their composition. A product mixture of polymethylenepolyphenylene isocyanate (also called polymeric MDI or PMDI) and methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) is derived from aniline (via benzene). The current manufacturing technology of most isocyanates is based on the phosgenation of primary amines, which is complex and usually proprietary technology. As a result, the MDI market is highly concentrated with high barriers to entry. The top five producers—Wanhua Chemical, BASF, Covestro, Huntsman, and Dow—account for over 80% of global nameplate capacity. The high concentration of production and exports within only a few countries and territories contrast with a high number of importers. The largest net importers include Canada, Brazil, Poland, Russia, Turkey, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The trend toward a greener, more sustainable future will entail rapidly increasing consumption of insulating materials. MDI is used to produce rigid polyurethane and polyisocyanurate insulation boards as well as spray foam insulation, which have strong insulating properties and are ideal materials to achieve the highest energy efficiency in residential homes and commercial buildings. Another application of MDI is in electric vehicles that require strong, but lightweight materials. As advancements continue in the development of electric vehicles, MDI consumption per vehicle is expected to trend upward to ensure electric vehicles are as light as possible. A third new end use of MDI is for wind turbine blades. Similar to electric vehicles, wind power operators and turbine manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCoE), since the material choice for wind turbine rotor blades directly contributes to wind power generation cost. Furthermore, the more widespread use of cold-chain storage will promote an increased use of insulated warehouses and commercial fridges and freezers that also utilize MDI-based insulation materials.

Key Benefits

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050

The World Analysis – MDI provides a comprehensive analysis and key insights into critical market developments as they shape the future outlook for the global MDI market.

The following reports, data files, analytical tools and visualization modules are available online and can be downloaded from our website:

  • Direct Access to the Subject Matter Experts
  • In-depth exploration of present market strategic insights, recognition of key challenges, and presentation of our experts’ forecasts and analysis
  • Explanatory Notes detailing data sources, methodologies, unit and conversion factors, and World Analysis deliverables.
  • Energy and Economy assumptions
  • Price, cost and margin base assumptions forecast and sensitivities analysis, including price assessment methodology, including price definitions across all regions.
  • Excel data files with standard supply/demand graphics and price forecasts extended to 2050, trade grids with country and regional trade flows Data appendix (Excel) with supply/demand, capacity and trade tables.
  • An online dashboard visualization of capacity, supply/demand, trade grids, and price, cost and margin forecasts
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser
  • Data Appendix (Excel) with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Capacity by company/shareholder, capacity integration, top producer/consumer and surplus/deficit capacity ranking, and ownership/subsidiary information

In addition to the main product(s), MDI capacity and textual analysis are provided for the following products:

  • Aniline
  • Nitrobenzene

This World Analysis contains detailed information on capacities, production, demand, and trade for all significant producing and consuming countries and regions. Although data gathering is essential for understanding history and potential future trends, we believe that the interpretation and analysis of the data is the most valuable information to our clients.

Service Features

Duration: Long-term outlook to 2050


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050
Area Coverage: By country/region; include “hypothetical” capacity changes in the forecast period
Chemical Coverage: MDI, Aniline


Frequency: Updated daily
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 10-year forecasts available from periods 1990 – 2050

  • Nameplate capacity on individual plant location by producer and by the shareholder for main study products + essential derivatives
  • Integration table and top producer and consumer ranking tables (includes net surplus/deficit)
Chemical Coverage: MDI, Aniline, Nitrobenzene


Frequency: Bi-annual
Format: Excel
Timeframe: 1 year of history, up to 10 years of forecast
Area Coverage: Between partner countries and by region
Chemical Coverage: MDI


Frequency: Annual
Format: PDF/HTML
Timeframe: 5-year history, forecast to 2050

  • Production economics/snapshots for selected regions/processes
  • Production process/technology overview
Chemical Coverage: MDI


  • Access to our global team of subject matter experts
  • Interactive data visualization module (dashboard)
  • Standard supply/demand graphs
  • Data appendix with supply/demand and capacity tables
  • Supply/demand and capacity database access via data browser

Annual Table of Contents

  • Introduction 4
  • Executive Overview 5
  • Strategic Insights 8
  • Key global trends will drive MDI demand 8
  • New applications support sustained high demand growth 9
  • Sustainability 10
  • Mechanical and chemical recycling 11
  • Production Process Overview 14
  • Introduction 14
  • Phosgenation Process 14
  • Nonphosgenation Process 15
  • Price Forecast 16
  • Methodology 16
  • North America 16
  • West Europe 17
  • Asia 18
  • Price Forecast Tables 19
  • Supply/Demand Forecast Methodology 21

Market Coverage




Paint & Coating

David Potter

David Potter Vice President Aromatics and Fibers, EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

David Potter is Vice President of Aromatics and Fibers, EMEA, at Chemical Market Analytics. David joined the Chemical Market Analytics team in January 2013 and is Vice President for the EMEA team, with product responsibility for pygas and benzene. David has expertise across several markets within the aromatics and fibers sector, including styrene monomers, phenolics, polyurethane feedstocks and ethylene oxide and derivatives. Between 2016-2018, David had global responsibility for Chemical Market Analytics daily pricing and market update reports for aromatics and light olefins. David joined the Chemical Market Analytics team from Platts, where he was an editor in the petrochemicals team responsible for price discovery, assessment, and editorial content on various petrochemical markets. However, David mainly focused on aromatics, where he was responsible for the benzene market coverage for over five years. Before his time at Platts, David worked for Petrochem Carless (now Haltermann Carless) for eight years between 1999-2007. He undertook many commercial roles here, including product management and customer service manager. He was responsible for buying and selling many different aliphatic and aromatic products, ketone solvents, antifreeze and glycols, plus undertaking many roles around road, rail and shipping logistics. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Media and a postgraduate diploma in Periodical Journalism.  
See Yan Wong

See Yan Wong Director, Polyurethane Feedstocks, Asia Pacific Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

See Yan Wong is the Director for Polyurethane Feedstock at Chemical Market Analytics. See Yan is the Asia Director for Polyurethane Feedstocks at Chemical Market Analytics. Since her appointment in 2018, she has been pivotal in establishing and growing the Polyurethane Feedstock Market Advisory Service. With over two decades of industry expertise, See Yan is a cornerstone within the organization, offering invaluable understanding and profound insights into the polyurethane feedstocks sector. Operating within the Asia region, she collaborates closely with stakeholders in the polyurethane sector, fostering ongoing dialogues with key industry players to provide essential support and guidance. Her primary focus encompasses overseeing the analysis of the Propylene Oxide chain and the MDI and TDI chains. Her prior experience includes Business Management, Supply Chain, Procurement, Sales and Marketing. Her portfolio of achievements includes developing a supply chain (planning and order management) and procurement processes for the Asian region, driving profit improvements through supply chain cost savings and commercial trading activities. She is equipped with rich market knowledge, a positive and mature personality, and solid managerial capability, which are essential strengths to make a difference in managing commodity trading activities within Asia. Ms. Wong has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of South Australia.
Steven English

Steven English Executive Director Aromatics and Polyurethanes, EMEA Chemical Market Analytics by OPIS

Prem is the Executive Director of Polyester Fibers, Glycols & EO Derivatives for the European, Middle-East, and African markets. Steven English is an Executive Director of aromatics in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Chemical Market Analytics. Steven has worked primarily in the aromatics and polyurethanes arena while at the company. With over 30 years of experience, Steven has a wide range of experience within the chemical industry globally and has worked as a consultant to the industry before joining Chemical Market Analytics just over two years ago. Steven looks after the cumene, phenol and acetone chain in the EMEA region. He works closely with all producers and end users in the value chain, focusing on pricing, supply, capacity changes, imports and exports to give a complete picture of the business. He also looks after MDI and TDI in the region, where his wealth of knowledge and keen observations bring insights into the polyurethanes industry. Additionally, Steven is the global service lead for our polyurethane activities. With a wide range of experiences in the chemical industry throughout the world, he is recognized as a global expert in polyurethanes, having led a global producer. He has also worked as a consultant to the chemical industry for many years, assisting with new chemical plant developments. He has an excellent understanding of the phenolics chain and its derivatives and has worked with many end products in his previous roles. Mr. English has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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