23 March 2013 17:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) markets are expected to soften next month in Latin America on weakening demand despite snug supply, sources said this week, heading into the annual American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers' (AFPM) International Petrochemical Conference (IPC).
The Easter holidays next week are contributing to a lacklustre outlook for the balance of March in the Latin American PVC market. The number of days observed for the Easter break varies depending on country, but participants agree that the holiday will place a damper on business activity in general because of the reduction of work days.
Regional sources are projecting that the markets in Latin America would recover from the holidays slowly, and that a significant pick up in demand might not be seen before May.
Softening markets in other global regions are placing downward pressure on prices in Latin America. Prices weakened this week in the US, Asia and the Middle East, although in Europe spot prices remained stable.
In early March, PVC prices rose in the Americas on steady business amid tight supply.
In Argentina, no pricing initiatives were heard for April PVC. Resin prices rose by $50/tonne (€39/tonne) in March, in line with the regional trend.
PVC prices in Brazil are projected to roll over in April from March, after the 8% increase in March driven by tight supply and strong demand. Prices had also risen by 8% in February, 8% in January, 6% in October 2012, 8% in September and 5% in August
Resin availability in Brazil is improving, after a period of tightness in February and March as a result of production problems that arose after the power blackout of November. Supply started easing when Braskem made available to the local market substantial volumes of PVC imports from various sources, participants said.
In Mexico, April export prices are targeted at $1,060-1,090/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Europe/Asia/Turkey, down from $1,140-1,170/tonne CFR Europe/Asia/Turkey in March, according to industry sources.
On the Pacific coast of South America, PVC quotes for pipe-grade have declined to $1,050/tonne CFR for Mexican product and $1,070/tonne CFR for US material, sources said. Pipe-grade PVC was offered two weeks ago at $1,120-1,150/tonne CFR Pacific coast of South America.
The IPC begins on Sunday and lasts through Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas.
($1 = €0.77)
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