US May PVC contracts settle at a rollover

13 June 2014 23:37 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US May contract prices for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were assessed on Friday at a rollover from April’s during the week as a new chlor-alkali production report revealed a long-awaited increase of domestic chlorine production.

Prices for pipe grade PVC resins held at 71-75 cents/lb ($1,565-1,653/tonne). Contract prices for general purpose PVC resins held within a range of 73-77 cents/lb, according to the ICIS assessment.

The assessment comes as new production figures revealed a jump in chlorine production, long awaited and expected to reflect an increase demand for PVC for construction purposes with the onset of prime construction season.

Plant utilisation jumped from 81% to 86% in May, but actual production was higher than when utilisation rates were at 91% in March of 2013.

That increase is expected to result in a softening of prices in June and July, a growing market sentiment now says.

Chlorine production rates have been low during the first four months of the year, reflecting a harsh winter that subdued trade activity and some industrial processes with freezing temperatures.

Major US PVC producers include Axiall, Formosa Plastics, Oxy Vinyls, Shintech and Westlake Chemical.
By Bill Bowen