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Updated to Q1 2017
Ethylene dichloride (EDC) prices were on an uptrend in Asia throughout the first quarter. Higher upstream feedstock ethylene prices contributed to the EDC price increases. Overall availability of cargoes in Asia were tight which also pushed up the prices of the spot cargoes. Producers of EDC also firmed up their offers on the back of better downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand.
However there was a wide buy-sell gap in the region. Buyers in northeast Asia, particularly Chinese buyers, were not willing to increase their bids. Only limited deals were heard concluded throughout the period. Buyers in the region argued that with the current offers of EDC , itwould make more economic sense for them to buy ethylene and produce EDC by themselves. Sellers however are unlikely to lower prices on the back of overall tight availability of spot cargoes and better downstream PVC demand in the spring season.
Updated to Q2 2017
European ethylene dichloride (EDC) spot prices were stable in Q2 although some downward pressure is expected in the market due to lower global EDC and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices.
Sources said that there was a downward tendency in sentiment during the quarter because of generally lower PVC prices, as well as a decrease in feedstock ethylene prices for June.
However, few new spot deals were agreed despite some PVC production issues in Europe later in the quarter, so any price reductions could not be confirmed.
The European EDC market is structurally quiet because the majority of production is integrated into PVC production systems. Spot deals are therefore rare except in the event of production issues at a producer. The ramping up of KEM ONE's EDC plant at Lavera, France has improved potential availability in Europe compared to the previous quarter, but no impact has been detected on prices so far.
Updated to Q1 2017
US ethylene dichloride (EDC) prices moved up $50/tonne FOB US Gulf during the first quarter.
Even so, US producers fought tightening margins as feedstock ethylene costs moved up sharply in January to peak in early February.
The EDC price increase roughly followed its raw material cost factor derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC). EDC accounts for about 45% of PVC raw material costs. PVC rose about $100/tonne during the quarter and contract prices rose 4 cents/lb, or $88/tonne.
US EDC exports fell during the last four months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, but started 2017 with the highest January export volumes of the past four years. Still, US exports were up 10% for 2016 compared with 2015.
US EDC prices are expected to continue to follow the values for PVC during the second quarter.
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