Japan's Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI) announced its decision to withdraw from aniline sales by September 2009 and terminate its 66,000 tpa production plant at Ichihara Works site (Chiba) by March 2009. The decision can be attributed to the increased production of aniline by MDI related manufacturers has resulted in a decline in market demand. The company also stressed that it was no longer viable to continue aniline production. However, Mitsui Chemicals Polyurethanes, Inc.'s Ohmuta Works (Fukuoka), which uses aniline produced at its own plant as a material in MDI production, will continue production of the material.
At MCI, only 1% of phenol needs is for aniline. Predicted growth in market demand of phenol and its derivative bisphenol are expected to sustain growth and profitability of MCI's phenol operations. The company says that the termination in aniline production is set to have minimal effect on operations and profitability.