ChemOrbis Europe Petrochemicals Conference: European PVC industry needs further consolidation
Despite the prevailing overcapacity issues and margin pressure, Malzkorn stated that the European PVC market is slowly recovering and that further industry consolidation is both necessary and expected to help strengthen the region’s PVC industry. Malzkorn said that Europe has been a net importer of caustic soda since mid-2014.
She added that global PVC demand will increase by 3.5% in the next five years to reach around 50 million tons. She said that the highest increases will be seen in Africa and Asia while European PVC demand will rise by 1.5% to reach 7.15 million tons/year by 2020.
She also argued that recent investments in European PVC from Westlake and Mexichem indicated renewed interest in Europe owing to the region’s strength in specialty products and market know-how. However, according to Malzkorn, political discussions including energy taxation and a planned free trade agreement between the European Union and US are among the challenges weighing down the European PVC outlook. “The US PVC industry is powered by substantially lower electricity costs, whereas electricity costs in Europe are two times higher,” Malzkorn noted.
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