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PVC players return to changing sentiment in NWE

  • 25/08/2016 (03:24)
Many PVC players in Northwest Europe are out of the market for summer holidays with many converters having shut production for a few weeks during August. Earlier in the month, players had left the market under a bearish sentiment after ethylene contracts settled lower for August and with the knowledge that demand would be rather slow for the month ahead.

Players who have returned to the market this week, however, noticed a change in the air as the energy complex has moved higher during their absence and spot ethylene costs have risen since the beginning of the month.

Done deals for PVC are mostly steady this week from early August levels, which are down €10/ton from July deals. Producers who had initially been seeking small increases ended up conceding to similar discounts on their prices as demand is slow due to the summer lull.

Early this week a film packaging producer in Germany noted, “We are still negotiating with our suppliers but expect to close deals with a €10/ton decrease. Demand has been stable this month. Up until a week ago we had been expecting further decreases in September, but today we are not sure anymore because higher feedstock costs could affect the ethylene contracts for next month. PVC prices might see a rollover next month instead.”

A source at a Northwest European producer said, “We sold most of our material with €10/ton decreases from July. Demand has been in line with expectations for the month of August. Earlier in the month we had been talking about possible price decreases for September, but now that crude oil and naphtha prices have moved upward, we expect to see rollovers or even increases next month. Demand should also improve in September.”

A trader made similar comments adding, “Buyers will need to restock in September after the summer holidays so demand will improve and producers have low stock levels. Import supply may also be limited due to maintenance shutdowns. Therefore, we foresee a stable to higher trend in September.”

While demand is expected to improve next month, supplies should also improve within the region. BorsodChem was expected to restart its 400,000 tons/year PVC plant in Hungary around the middle of this month. KemOne, which was reportedly experiencing outages at its Fos and Lavera sites due to wildfires was heard to have restarted its units.

With better demand and supplies expected next month, players will be watching feedstock costs for further signs of direction.
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