US PVC spot, export prices rise on tightening supply

14 July 2012 00:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) spot and export prices were assessed higher by ICIS on Friday as availability has begun to tighten.

Spot prices rose by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €36/tonne) to 40-44 cents/lb, while export prices rose by $10/tonne to $810-865/tonne.

For weeks, buyers had been putting off purchases as they waited for PVC prices to reach a bottom, based largely on the drop in the price for the primary feedstock, ethylene.

But that bottom appears to have been reached, and buyers have begun replenishing depleted inventories, sources said.

In June, US contract prices for PVC dropped by 5 cents/lb, to 51-56 cents/lb for pipe grade and 53-58 cents/lb for general-purpose grade.

After June contract prices settled downward, market participants are eagerly waiting to see what happens in July and August, a buyer said.

Domestic demand is reported to remain somewhat soft, as the homebuilding sector is only just beginning to pick up steam.

Major US manufacturers of PVC include Formosa Plastics, Georgia Gulf, Shintech, Occidental Vinyls and Westlake.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Ken Fountain

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