THE WOODLANDS, Texas (Feb. 24, 2010)—Huntsman International L.L.C's polyurethanes business had a strong fourth quarter in 2009, but sales for the year were down 5 percent.
Huntsman posted sales figures up 10 percent and revenues of $841 million in the polyurethane business for the fourth quarter, compared to $796 million in the same period in 2008.
But for the year selling price dropped by 22 percent, with total PU revenues in 2009 of $3 billion, compared to $4.1 billion in 2008.
Huntsman attributed the increase in revenues in polyurethanes for the fourth quarter primarily to higher sales volumes, partially offset by lower average selling prices. Global sales volumes for MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) increased, primarily as a result of improved demand, the company said.
Huntsman's results statement said the increase in fourth quarter earnings in polyurethanes was primarily from higher margins and sales volumes, as well as because the same period in 2008 suffered negative effects from the 2008 U.S. Gulf Coast storms.
Average MDI selling prices decreased as a result of lower raw material costs and competitive pressures, Huntsman said. Propylene oxide (PO) and MTBE (methyl tert-butyl ether), sales volumes increased compared to 2008's fourth quarter, again from the 2008 hurricanes and storms, while average PO/MTBE selling prices increased as a result of favorable competitive conditions.
President and CEO Peter Huntsman said global demand for MDI increased 12 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the prior year.
Huntsman said that Asia “continues to lead the global recovery, fueled in part by the Chinese stimulus programs.” Automotive, appliance and coatings have also shown strong increase in demand.