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Will demand support expected PVC firming in Europe for Oct?

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team - content@chemorbis.com
  • 27/09/2017 (14:46)
In Europe, sellers reveal their October expectations on a firm note in the PVC market thanks to the anticipations of firmer ethylene contracts after September PVC deals were closed with slightly smaller increases than initial hike targets.

Ethylene contracts are expected to post modest increases in October given ongoing maintenance shutdowns at many crackers, higher naphtha prices and Brent futures, which hit $59/bbl, a more than two-year high.

A source from a West European producer said, “We had to tone our initial PVC hike requests down to €20-25/ton from €30/ton due to the buyers’ resistance in September. As for October, we still hold firm expectations for PVC as ethylene contracts might settle €20-40/ton higher on a lack of import availability and good demand.”

A buyer from the Netherlands closed September business paying increases of €15-20/ton. He added, “Demand has been good. We expect further gains of €10-20/ton in PVC prices as ethylene might settle €15-20/ton higher in October.”

Although the global sentiment seems to have faltered upon news of returning PVC capacities in the US and China’s local PVC market undergoing corrections, European players think that the lack of imports from the US and Mexico will be felt more visibly in November as there were no shipments from the continent during September.

However, if operations are resumed in the US and suppliers start procuring export allocations as normal, the pressure will be minimized.

Furthermore, regional players have already commented that the low season is approaching for pipe applications, which might counterbalance the reduced amount of imports.

A pipe manufacturer said, “Our end demand is stable for September, but it will slow down in line with the approaching low season in October-November. Therefore, sellers will not be in a comfortable position to apply new hikes.”

In Italy, PVC prices are currently quoted at €920-1020/ton for k67 and €930-1040/ton for specialty grades, both on FD, 60/90 days. In Northwest Europe, k67 prices stand at €865-955/ton while specialty grades are reported at €870-970/ton FD, 30/60 days.
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