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Firmer US offers face lack of interest in Mediterranean PVC markets

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 26/05/2017 (04:09)
Import American PVC prices turned up in the Mediterranean markets by early May, when suppliers started to adopt firmer stances on their prices blaming supply limitations and the rebound in energy costs.

Prices started to firm up in Egypt first, which was followed by Turkey and Italy. However, players in those markets reported low buying appetite for US PVC cargos given a number of reasons behind.

In Turkey, US PVC k67 offers have moved up by $20/ton in the second half of May while buyers mostly preferred to take a “wait and see” stance in response to higher offers ahead of new announcements from nearby Europe. A profile maker is willing to meet his needs from Europe as he believes he will be able to obtain more competitive prices from there. “Although we still have some quota related to our re-export document, we are not interested in US cargos. Some traders are not willing to offer US PVC nowadays as they are aware of the fact that their prices are not workable for now,” the buyer said.

An agent of an American producer commented, “We received inquiries from our customers but most of those did not turn into deals amidst lack of real demand. Manufacturers elected to wait for European offers first before deciding on their next step, taking the widespread expectations for lower ethylene contracts for June into account.” Another seller expects his supplier to stay adamant about his firmer levels for next month.

In Egypt, import US k67 offers moved up by $20-30/ton this month in Egypt. Several PVC players stated that demand for import cargos slowed down due to the approaching Ramadan, which will start this weekend. “Tight availability from US suppliers has not had a visible impact on activity so far as end product demand is not spectacular these days. Yet, American sellers are likely to remain firm on their pricing policy owing to the healthy demand in their domestic market, which keeps their export allocations restricted,” highlighted a pipe manufacturer.

A trader similarly commented, “Our offers are firmer this week in tandem with limited supplies from the US. However, demand in Egypt is poor and we received very limited inquiries from converters.”

In Italy, US PVC offers have also shown up recently. Although they offer a relatively competitive edge with respect to local prices, buyers are not showing much interest in import cargos. Activity is almost at a standstill with players’ eyes on the upcoming ethylene contracts for June. Expectations call for a decrease of up to €50/ton for the new settlement while buyers project to see lower prices in the downstream PVC market as well.

A profile maker, who obtained rollovers from his regional suppliers after being asked for €10/ton hikes initially for May, stated, “We kept buying hand to mouth in the recent week as June hints at more competitive PVC prices in Europe with no supply concerns on horizon.”
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