Chemical market trends: PVC bears brunt of ethylene drop and supply/demand

27 July 2012 00:00  [Source: ICB]

Despite a slight improvement for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), spot prices in Europe over the past few weeks - now pegged at €740-770/tonne ($897-933/tonne) FD EU - the market has seen values slide since mid-May. Numbers had remained at around €915/tonne since the week ending April 6 - their highest levels since the polymer hit €940/tonne on September 11, 2009.

Europe's July PVC contract has emerged down by €75/tonne on average at €1,145-1,160/tonne FD NWE, thanks to a combination of factors including weak demand, plentiful supply and the €170/tonne slump in the ethylene contract upstream.

Decreases of varied magnitude have been heard for PVC; some sellers report drops of €65-75/tonne, whereas buyers suggest the full ethylene decrease has been passed on, with reductions of about €80/tonne in Northwest and Southern Europe. Some negotiations, however, are ongoing.

Demand is picking up, with expectations that August's ethylene contract will rebound.

By: Andy Brice
+44 20 8652 3214

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