28 May 2009 23:30 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The temporary maintenance shutdown of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) feedstock plant in Mexico could help push local prices higher in the coming weeks, PVC producers and traders said on Thursday.
Petroleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) 400,000 tonne/year capacity vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant at the Pajaritos petrochemical complex near the Gulf port city Coatzacoalcos had shut down for annual maintenance in mid-May and was unlikely to resume production until the end of June, a source close to the company said.
The maintenance turnaround has compounded Mexico’s shortage of VCM - the immediate feedstock of PVC - because the tight chlorine supply in the US has limited exports of the feedstock to Mexico, which does not produce enough VCM to fuel its PVC industry, a trader said.
VCM is produced from roughly equal parts of chlorine and ethylene.
“Chlorine production rates have also fallen in Mexico due to low [co-product] caustic soda prices, which has kept VCM production rates low at the Pemex plant,” the trader said.
Domestic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in Mexico were assessed last week at $800-850/tonne (€576-612/tonne) DEL (delivered), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
PVC producers in Mexico include Mexichem and Cydsa.
($1 = €0.72)
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