Polyvinyl chloride Prices, markets & analysis
For those looking to keep abreast of the global Polyvinyl chloride market, our independent, unbiased pricing information, news and market analysis is an invaluable resource.
Whether you buy or sell Polyvinyl chloride or related products, you need to know about the prices and the factors driving the prices in the global Polyvinyl chloride market as they happen. Our network of price reporters throughout Asia, Europe and the US provide key local insights. We collate this intelligence into daily and weekly price reports, ensuring you have the up-to-date information you need at all times.
Polyvinyl chloride overview Transcript
Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC is a plastic resin. Its feedstocks are chlorine and ethylene. Its main end use for PVC is in the construction industry with pipes and profiles, windows and doors accounting for a large proportion of consumption.
Other applications include the automotive industry, cables and flooring.
The key driver in the market tends to be season led. Spring and summer are the strongest periods of construction activity. Movement in feedstock ethylene and chlorine prices also impact the PVC market as do events in the wider chloralkali chain as producers have to balance the electrochemical unit in order to make the business profitable.
The economy is also a key driver for PVC as downstream construction is strongly linked with GDP. The outlook for the market is unclear, but it is widely agreed that future growth will be largely driven by the emerging economies of Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Demand in the Eurozone is widely expected to contract as state measures delay public investment in construction. New plants coming on stream in Asia, Middle East, central and Eastern Europe will mean more competition for developed economies.
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Upstream of Polyvinyl chloride
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Polyvinyl chloride: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
Producers of polyvinyl chloride in most global markets are watching the cost of feedstock ethylene to dictate price direction.
In the US and Europe, rising ethylene prices are moving producers to seek higher prices. Buyers in Asia are also looking at less expensive carbide-based PVC, made from feedstock acetylene, so prices are expected to be softer there.
The monsoon season during the third quarter is also expected to dampen business activity in India and some South East Asian markets.
The return of ethylene production after plant maintenance turnarounds in Japan is also expected to reduce downstream prices in the region, as well.
Anti-dumping duties announced in India give preference to producers in Japan and Taiwan and one American company. So material from those countries is expected to be compete best in the Subcontinent for the near term.
The US is expected to continue to export to Canada, Mexico, China, Turkey and Egypt, as well as Latin America, but at reduced volumes on macro-economic dynamics.
European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sellers are keen to recoup lost chlorvinyls margins, following the erosion on caustic soda over recent month. The margin recovery situation has further been compounded by the firmer tendency in upstream ethylene contract costs over the last few months. The market is likely to be fairly balanced, provided that there are no plant reliability issues, as sellers are expected to tailor production to demand, particularly over the summer holiday period in Europe, which is likely to be quieter amid some downstream plant shutdowns.
In Q3, India and southeast Asia will continue to experience the monsoon, and this is likely to further dampen PVC demand. However, due to revised anti-dumping duties (ADDs) structure in place in India, imports into India will be limited. Northeast Asia producers are part of the few who are able to export to India with little to no ADDs. Hence, despite the drop in demand, NE Asian producers expect to be able to maintain their offers for Q3.
In southeast Asia, there are a few producers who choose to sell to India due to better prices and netbacks. Although supply may be slightly tighter due to more PVC flowing to India, some players expected more carbide-based PVC from China to enter SE Asia too. If ethylene-based producers in SE Asia choose to keep their prices stable at current rates, some buyers may choose to switch to buying carbide-based PVC instead. Hence, players expect prices to be stable-to-soft in SE Asia.
Lastly, feedstock ethylene prices are expected to gradually soften in Q3 due to increased supply as Japanese ethylene producers return from their turnarounds and start supplying spot again. If this happens, PVC producers may be more willing to gradually lower their offers too.
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Polyvinyl Chloride Methodology
About Polyvinyl chloride
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) occurs as white, amorphous, odourless powder. It is soluble in nitrobenzene, cyclohexanone, and tetrahydrofuran but insoluble in vinyl chloride. It is resistant to dilute alkalis and acids but is attacked by concentrated nitric and chromic acids.
Two types of PVC homopolymer are produced: rigid resins which are inflexible and hard; and flexible resins which contain a large proportion of plasticiser to make them soft and can be stretched. Products made from rigid PVC include pipe and conduit and roofing tiles.
Flexible PVC finds outlets in wire and cable coating, flooring, coated fabrics and shower curtains. Other outlets for flexible PVC are film and sheet and flooring.
Polymerisation is normally performed at 40-70oC with the vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) in a liquid state under pressure in a batch reactor. Suspension polymerisation is the most common PVC process because the resins produced are the most versatile and suitable for a wide range of applications.
The resin produced from the polymerisation process is hard and brittle and requires conversion into a compound by the incorporation of additives such as plasticisers, modifiers, stabilisers and processing aids before conversion into finished products.
Upstream of Polyvinyl chloride
Downstream of Polyvinyl chloride