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VCM pulled up by strong PVC prices despite bearish ethylene

  • 09/11/2016 (03:32)
In major markets, VCM prices firmed up with support from the strong stance of the downstream PVC market. Players reported higher spot VCM prices in Asia, the US and Europe despite the lack of support from the upstream ethylene market, where spot prices have been falling globally.

In Asia, the spot VCM market notionally moved up by $55/ton on average in the past one month. Although spot ethylene prices lost more than $100/ton on average in the same timeframe, the VCM market found the support from the constant gains of the PVC market. PVC prices have been firming up not only in India, but also in China, on the back of supply tightness.

Likewise in the US, spot VCM prices have been gradually firming up. In the past one month, the cumulative gain of the spot VCM market reached almost $100/ton on average whereas the upstream ethylene market slumped by more than $200/ton. The current market level for spot ethylene indicates an almost year-low in the US. However, the VCM market was driven up by higher export PVC prices out of the country, which was supported by the firming PVC trend in Asia, according to some traders. Others also point to supply limitations in the US as players heard about PVC shutdowns at major producers including Formosa and Shintech.

In Europe, the notional market level for spot VCM edged up only recently. This, needless to say, found support from the hike intentions of European PVC suppliers for November. Their main justification comes from the €30/ton higher settlement of the monthly ethylene contract. However, spot ethylene prices have been going south in the past few weeks, shedding €75/ton.

To track the latest developments of news, prices and price changes as well as weekly analyses in the PVC markets across the globe, please visit ChemOrbis PVC Market Information page.
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