26 January 2010 18:39 [Source: ICIS news]
Shintech joins all the other major US producers, who had previously said they were seeking the 5-cent hike.
All US PVC producers are also seeking 5 cent/lb increases effective on 1 January, for a total of 10 cents/lb sought thus far in 2010.
Buyers confirmed receiving the increase announcements, but had yet to comment about the strength of the suppliers’ move.
Although PVC demand has been weak due to seasonal conditions and slow recovery in the US housing and construction markets, large distributors said the January and February price increases were justified by rising production costs and low resin inventories.
Low resin inventories and potential short-term supply issues were being discussed even before Olin’s force majeure declaration on the PVC feedstock chlorine, among other products, at its facility in McIntosh, Alabama.
The Olin force majeure came on the back of lower chlor-alkali operating rates in December.
December chlor-alkali production was 76% of capacity, down from 82% in November, according to the latest statistics from The Chlorine Institute.
December’s 776,662 tonnes of chlorine output compared with 810,792 tonnes produced in November, according to the trade group.
Chlorine prices continued to range $390-410/dst (dry short ton), a benchmark high established in mid 2009, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.
US PVC producers last sought to raise prices in November when a 3-cent/lb increase received spotty implementation of about 1 cent/lb.
Pipe-grade PVC contracts were last assessed at 63-65 cents/lb, with general purpose material at 67-69 cents/lb DEL (delivered), according to ICIS.
US PVC producers include Formosa Plastics, Georgia Gulf, Westlake Chemical and Shintech, among others.
($1 = €0.71)
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