HOUSTON (ICIS)--Prices for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were stable in Mexico and most elsewhere in Latin America so far into June compared with the previous month amid stable demand, which is showing some weakness just in Venezuela and Brazil, market sources said on Friday.
Caustic soda prices were also stable, sources said.
Besides small increments, only in very specific situations, prices of PVC were kept stable for most markets across Latin America as demand is also equally stable, sources said.
There has been more PVC material being sold into the west coast of Latin America out of Colombia and Mexico mainly as a result of increased capacity by one producer, sources said. Reductions in PVC shipped from Mexico to India, following recently imposed special duties, also contributed to buyers seeing greater volumes of PVC moving into the west coast of South America.
There had been some initiatives for PVC price increases in markets like Mexico of as much as $30/tonne for June from May, which did not take hold, a source noted. Price increase initiatives for July could see more success based on potentially higher feedstock, a source added.
Demand in Venezuela and Brazil stand out in the region as being very weak compared with the rest, sources said. Venezuela has seen political and economic turmoil for some time, while the economy of Brazil has recently shown weakness from last year with contractions in industrial activity.
As for caustic soda, one source said that a producer and exporter in the centre of the west coast of South America had decided to keep all its prices unchanged, including for those for its product for export to markets in Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil.
Sources had reported seeing excess caustic soda in Brazil to the point that a shipment of about 7,000 tonnes was seen leaving for an unknown destination abroad.
Sources said they generally saw both caustic soda as well as PVC prices, as published by ICIS, in line with the current market situation.
ICIS assessed prices for general purpose PVC for delivery in Mexico at 52.62-54.88 cents/lb ($1,160-1,210/tonne) while the pipe grade material was assessed at 49.89-52.16 cents/lb. Caustic soda prices Colombia cost and freight (CFR), to name an example for one region, are currently assessed by ICIS at $455-$480/tonne.