US PVC exports dip 13% in February as domestic prices rise

09 April 2014 23:04  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) exports and imports declined in February as feedstock ethylene prices rose and global economic recovery slowed, according to figures released on Wednesday by the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

February exports of 202,468 tonnes were down by 13% from January’s 234,015 tonnes and 20% lower than February 2013’s 254,046 tonnes, according to the ITC figures.

US exports are down 22% so far this year compared to the first two months of 2013, according to the data.

Export prices for US PVC rose by about $40/tonne free on board (FOB) US Gulf (USG) in January and February as producers sought to regain margins on rising costs for ethylene feedstock. Plant outages at Axiall’s vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant also may have helped push prices up, market participants said.

The result was lower volumes of US PVC to China, Turkey, Egypt and other regular export destinations.

Imports of US PVC were also down in February. However, US imports equaled less than 10% export volumes for PVC.

Major US producers include Axiall, Formosa Plastics, OxyChem, Shintech and Westlake.

Top US PVC export markets (in tonnes)

 US PVC exports

Feb-13

Jan-14

Feb-14

YTD 2013

YTD 2014

% chg

Total

254,046

234,015

202,468

558,340

436,482

-22

Canada

37,007

32,472

36,434

67,937

68,907

1

Egypt

15,646

22,217

23,591

39,347

45,808

16

Mexico

20,964

16,213

20,660

45,042

36,873

-18

China

28,127

23,502

20,649

67,521

44,152

-35

Turkey

19,325

29,504

12,015

60,739

41,518

-32

Peru

10,904

8,901

11,165

20,119

20,066

0

Source: US International Trade Commission


By: Bill Bowen
+1 713 525 2653



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