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US PVC offers soften in export markets after Harvey-driven rally

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 29/09/2017 (04:13)
US PVC started September in many export markets with spiking offers owing to the lack of availability in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which caused a remarkable reduction in ethylene and PVC operations in the US. However, upon the resumption of operations, eased supply concerns and thin buying appetite have forced US suppliers to step back from their previous targets in export destinations including Turkey, Middle East and Egypt.

In plant status updates, Mexichem is readying to lift force majeure on PVC supplies from its US, Mexico and Colombia plants before the beginning of October. On the sides of QxyChem and Formosa, their force majeure declarations remained in place at the time of publication, although they resumed their production.

In Turkey, traders have adjusted their initial September offers down gradually in the second half of the month. The latest American k67 offers represented $10-40/ton drops from early month, with high end facing larger declines. Cooling demand has mainly weighed down on prices to Turkey.

“At the start of September, American offers climbed $60-70/ton due to ethylene and PVC shortages. Three producers declared force majeure on output citing the impact of Harvey, while some restarted their facilities, which caused the previous concerns about availability to fade,” players highlighted.

A trader affirmed that US PVC prices were adjusted down as particularly profile converters have sufficient inventories, adding, “We also had to cut our initial US k67 prices to entice greater buying interest. Most capacities returned in the US during the recent couple of weeks.”

Similarly, in the Middle East and Egypt, import US PVC offers have softened since they first spiked in early September. Converters are limiting their purchases nowadays and they prefer to procure local PVC in case of an urgent need. Buyers are not interested in securing import cargos since further downwards corrections are projected.

An agent of a US producer in Egypt stated, “Inquiries are scarce amidst slow end markets and ongoing liquidity issues in Egypt. Yet, our supplier tries to be adamant about their prices given restricted supplies, although discounts are obtainable for firm bids.”

In line with the globally weak demand for US PVC, offers for this origin showed up in China this week on the low end of the overall import range. A trader who received these prices did not find them attractive enough for deep-sea cargos as he thinks import prices have further room to move down.
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