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.