US PVC producers announce 3 cent/lb March increases

10 February 2011 23:45  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two 3 cent/lb ($66/tonne, €48/tonne) price-increase proposals for March have emerged in the US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market as players closely watch feedstock ethylene prices, sources said on Thursday. 

Some market sources said January and February contracts were leaning toward a rollover. Others said January contracts were not yet settled, and February discussions not completed.

December PVC pipe-grade contracts were assessed at 74-76 cents/lb and general purpose-grade contracts at 78-80 cents/lb.

A 3 cent/lb increase announcement was initially made by two suppliers last December. However, when the initiative did not take hold, the increase was postponed to March contracts, a producer said.

US ethylene prices surged after a Tuesday fire at the Enterprise Products natural gas liquids (NGL) complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas, near Houston.

The Enterprise fire forced some crackers to operate at reduced rates because of constraints on ethane supply, according to market sources. The company said Thursday that operations had resumed at its facilities.

Ethylene was trading on Monday at 44.25-46.00 cents/lb. By Thursday, ethylene was trading at 48.50 cents/lb, continuing on an uptrend from earlier in the week.

“I’m very worried about the ethylene price,” a PVC buyer said. “I’m sure that’s what the other guys are watching.”

Major US PVC producers include Formosa Plastics, Georgia Gulf, Shintech and Westlake.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Ruth Liao
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