HSE and Industry Associations
Major US producers of PVC have new price initiatives for March
ICIS News : 8-Feb-13 22:14
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Nearly all US producers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have announced new price initiatives for March contracts, as bullish sentiment appeared to be rising, sources said on Friday.
On Thursday, Axiall revised its previously announced 3 cents/lb ($66/tonne, €50/tonne) increase for March contracts to 5 cents/lb.
That was after Shintech announced a 5 cents/lb increase for March, in addition to its previously announced 3 cents/lb increase for February, and Dow announced a 5 cents/lb increase for March. Westlake had already restated its own 3 cents/lb increase for February and announced a 5 cents/lb increase for March.
Meanwhile, export prices of PVC are continuing to rise on the back of increased demand and snug supply. Export PVC is assessed by ICIS at $1,010-$1,020/tonne.
Reasons cited by producers for the increases include snugness in supply caused by planned and unplanned outages, strengthening domestic demand for PVC and increased feedstock costs.
The increased demand is due largely to the US homebuilding sector, a primary downstream market for PVC. Many experts believe the sector is beginning its long-awaited rebound after the collapse that precipitated the economic downturn that began in 2007.
According to market sources, Axiall still has not lifted the force majeure it imposed on vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), a precursor to PVC, following a fire at its facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The company previously lifted the force majeure on caustic soda, a co-product of the electrolysis process that produces chlorine, from the same facility.
Spot and export prices for PVC continued to climb during the week on the back of increased demand and snug supply. Some producers are said to have no material availability for either the spot or export markets.
Major US producers of PVC include Axiall, Formosa, Occidental Chemical, Shintech and Westlake.
($1 = €0.75)
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By Ken Fountain