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US PVC firms up in global markets

  • 25/01/2017 (09:27)
Players in different markets have reported firmer PVC offers out of the US recently. Although buying interest is not great for this origin, traders in Turkey, Egypt and Asia have taken a firmer stance in line with their suppliers with support from higher ethylene costs as well as the shift in market sentiment across Asia.

Spot ethylene prices in the US have been steadily rising since mid-December, according to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, posting a cumulative gain of more than $250/ton on average. The upcoming maintenance season at crackers including Formosa, Exxon and Dupont justify the recent gains in ethylene as well as the price hikes sought in PVC, according to players.

In Turkey, traders are pushing for increases in their PVC offers from the US. “Our suppliers are indeed seeking prices $40/ton higher than our current offer levels and therefore, the competitive levels of two weeks ago are no longer obtainable,” said a source from a global trader.

An agent of a US producer also noted, “The weak stance of demand that stems from ongoing parity issues and the availability of attractive prices from Europe are putting a cap on US sellers’ hike attempts in Turkey. However, US suppliers are not willing to concede to lower levels due to supportive costs and increase expectations in their domestic market.”

Traders offering to Africa also reported receiving higher PVC offers from the US this week. “Our supplier has applied a $40/ton increase on its export prices and therefore, we raised our offers accordingly to Egypt. However, we are not sure to what extent these hikes will find acceptance,” said a trader.

Another trader in Egypt pointed to the supply limitations from their US suppliers as a reason to maintain their firm stance.

In Asia, a global trader is now offering US PVC to Vietnam $20/ton higher than late December. The sentiment shifted in the region in line with the surprising move of a Taiwanese major two weeks ago, when a $20/ton increase was applied to India. Expectations are mostly hovering around an improvement in demand in India during February as well as in China after the end of the Chinese New Year holiday.
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