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US PVC sustains firming globally on supply restraints

  • 05/02/2018 (04:31)
US PVC prices have been following an uptrend in major global markets for more than two months primarily due to output issues, firmer upstream costs and the bullish trend in Asia. Producers had to trim export allocations on the back of cold temperatures and some shutdowns at upstream and downstream units.

In China, US PVC k67 offers have steadily risen since mid-November. The upward run in India’s PVC market has also helped US PVC prices gain ground. This past week, a trader reported that the offers they received for US cargoes increased by $20/ton compared to two weeks earlier. Meanwhile, the cumulative increase has reached $100/ton since the upturn kicked off two and a half months ago.

In Turkey, US PVC k67 posted additional gains of $10-15/ton on the week. Import prices from the US have been rising for more than two months, posting a cumulative increase of more than $75/ton on average, according to ChemOrbis Price Index. “Prices are not likely to take a break from increasing as most US sellers were sold out for February and they are mulling over applying further hikes in March. Limited supplies in China and Europe are also supporting their stance,” a converter commented.

In Italy, PVC prices from the US have also moved up due to the limited export allocations. US k67 prices indicate cumulative increases of €120/ton since around December. Some players reported that they didn’t receive PVC allocations from the US for February shipments due to some output issues and ongoing turnarounds. A trader said, “There are some shipment issues from the US due to the low temperatures. We are waiting to see new PVC volumes.” A West European producer also said, “Import quotas are reducing given logistics issues in the US.”

In Egypt, import PVC offers are set to increase for the third consecutive month despite unsupportive demand. US PVC offers have registered cumulative increases of around $100/ton. “Sellers have no sales pressure as they can sell to the other markets with better margins,” opined a buyer.

Taking support from the ongoing strength of US PVC offers, March expectations are calling for another round of increases from other global suppliers as well.

A global trader commented, “We expect to see a $40/ton hike from the Taiwanese major for March to Asia in the coming days as supplies seem globally tight.”
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