US PVC export prices rise on constrained supply

25 January 2013 21:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Steady demand and snug supply continued to push export prices for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) higher in the week that ended 25 January, market sources said on Friday.

Demand for PVC, particularly in the domestic market, has been unusually high in the early weeks of Q1 2013, driven by the steadily improving homebuilding sector.

Export prices are assessed at $990-1,000/tonne (€743-750/tonne), up from $980-1,000/tonne a week earlier.

Meanwhile, a force majeure declared by PPG Industries on precursor product vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) after a 28 December fire at its plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, along with an outage at a chlor-alkali facility operated by Georgia Gulf, has constricted supply, making spot and export material all but completely unavailable, sources said.

Market sources said it appears PPG's issues may be resolved by the end of January. Georgia Gulf would not discuss the details of its outage, but sources said the facility was coming back online.

In the meantime, several announced price increases of 3 cents/lb and 5 cents/lb for February contracts remained under discussion by market participants.

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

($1 = €0.75)

Follow Ken Fountain (@ICIS_Ken) on Twitter

By: Ken Fountain

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