The global isocyanates market size is expected to witness potential gains in the future, and register a significant CAGR of 5.8% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Organic compounds that contain an isocyanate group are referred to as isocyanates. Isocyanates are highly reactive and low molecular weight chemicals. An isocyanate that has two isocyanate groups is known as a diisocyanate. It is produced by reacting a primary aliphatic or aromatic amine dissolved in a solvent such as xylene or monochlorobenzene with phosgene dissolved in the same solution to produce polyurethane polymers. Isocyanate compounds are found in a diverse range of industries using chemicals such as two pack spray paints, lacquers, adhesives, certain coatings/ linings and in foam production such as insulation or fillers.

Market Dynamics

Significant growth of the paints and coatings industry is expected to boost growth of the global isocyanates market. Isocyanates are widely used in the manufacture of coatings such as paints and varnishes, and elastomers. In the automobile industry, paints usually contain hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) and/or isophorone diisocyanate. Therefore, increasing production of vehicles is also expected to contribute to the market growth. Isocyanates are also used as primers or adhesives and in the manufacture of flexible and rigid foams, fibers. The weather resistant properties of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) promote their use as adhesives and sealants. Methyl isocyanate (MIC) is used in the manufacture of pesticides, which increases its application in the agricultural sector.  

However, there are several potential health effects associated with exposure to isocyanates. The Bhopal disaster resulted in the death of nearly 4000 people due to the release of MIC, according to the government of India. Inhalation of isocyanates can cause respiratory irritation/sensitization in people or lead to occupational asthma. Dermatitis, irritation to the mucous membranes, eyes, nose and throat, and gastrointestinal irritation are some other complications caused due to isocyanates. Moreover, several regulatory authorities worldwide have imposed various restrictions on the use of isocyanates. These factors are expected to hinder the market growth.   

Market Outlook

Increasing use of polyurethane is expected to boost growth of the global market over the forecast period. Among regions, Asia Pacific is expected to hold dominant position in the market, with China and India being the major growth engines. This is attributed to growing end-use industries such as construction, electronics, and automotive in China and India. The market share of Europe is expected to be impacted by stringent EU regulations.

Key Players

Major players operating in the global isocyanates market include, Bayer Material Science, The Dow Chemical Company, Yantai Sanjiang Chemical Industry Material Co., Ltd., Anderson Development Co., and Huntsman Corporation

Key Development

Several key players are focused on developing organic and inorganic growth strategies such as capacity expansion, new product launch and partnership with other companies, in order to enhance their presence. For instance,

  • In February 2011, Wanhua Industrial, the chemical company based in China, merged with BorsodChem, producer of TDI, MDI, PVC resins and other specialty chemicals based in Europe, to form isocyanate manufacturing. According to Wanhua, through this merger, they expands their isocyanate production at Kazincbarcinka and aimed to become the leading isocyanate producer in Europe.
  • In June 2012, a Swedish chemical company Perstorp form a joint venture with PTT Global Chemical and form VENCOREX Holding, which is dedicated in sales and manufacturing of products for the polyurethane (PU) industry such as aliphatic isocyanates and toluene diisocyanate (TDI).
  • In December 2015, Showa Denko K.K. launched grade of isocyanate monomer, Karenz AOI, (2- acryloyloxyethylisocyanate), used as different type of resists applicable to production processes of electronics.   
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