US demand falters, but hopes are high for 2011
By Liz White
Participants in the polyurethanes sector would agree that the business has gone through a “roller-coaster period” in the last few years — a phrase coined by William Little of global consultancy company Nexant.
Happily, after this dramatic period, the sector “appears to be coming out the other side,” said Little, in a closing speech at the conference of the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI), held 11-13 Oct in Houston, Texas.
Little characterised the PU industry recently as on, “a multiple roller coaster ride in different parts of the world,… each with distinct characteristics and lessons for the future.”
Other commentators confirmed Little’s view that recovery is ongoing, although not without some hiccups — maybe caused by that very same fairground ride.
At Bayer MaterialScience llc, Jerry MacCleary, head of its North American Polyurethanes Marketing and Business Development as well as CPI steering committee chair, said, “The first quarter showed recovery from 2009. Then, we had strong second and third quarters. Year over year it’s been up 25-30 percent in volume activity [in the US] and that’s been very good.”
But MacCleary said “Going into the 4th quarter, we’ve hit a plateau.” Looking at 2011, “We hope to have some modest growth for next year, overall, for North America,” he said, in a 13 Oct interview at the CPI/UTECH event.