For those who value their stretchy pants, the natural gas shortfall in China could be cause for alarm. The country’s shift away from coal over the past decade has caused a shortage of natural gas that has hit the chemical industry in China hard – particularly for the manufacture of MDI, the chemical used to make spandex, according to an article from The New York Times. China is said to dominate global production of garments made from spandex.
According to the The New York Times, the Chinese government recently shuttered major chemical factories in western China for up to four months to free up natural gas to heat homes and schools. BASF was forced to break delivery contracts from its complex in Chongqing, in western China, which alone reportedly manufactures more than 5% of the world’s supply of MDI, due to the gas shortage – a shutdown that could cause the price of spandex to spike.
Read the entire article here.