A surprisingly strong start to 2012 may signal some healthy PU growth
Report by Liz White, UTI editor
As we move into 2012, and many in the PU sector look forward to meeting up at UTECH Europe 2012 in Maastricht, Urethanes Technology International took the opportunity to ask industry representatives about the sector’s prospects for this year.
The good news is that they think industry is in a rather better state than you might imagine if you only read media reports about the dire state of the global economy.
The bad news is that no one expects the pricing situation in polyurethanes to ease: high volatility in the prices of feedstocks for materials to make urethanes will continue.
Most PU industry experts UTI canvassed are optimistic that this year will see — not any great surge in growth — but a pick-up in demand.
Some sectors have better prospects than others, with insulation regarded widely as a winning segment to be in.
As Kingspan Insulation’s managing director Peter Wilson put it, “We are pleased that we are in insulation, because we feel that it will continue to generally outperform the market.” For 2012, “we would see a business that in new builds probably will be softer, but hopefully being compensated for by retrofit and refurbishment. Overall we see the market for 2012 showing slight growth compared to 2011.” Kingspan saw “a reasonable level of growth in 2011 versus 2010,” Wilson added, in a 26 Jan interview.