Our comprehensive Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reports covered by our locally-based experts, help to keep you abreast of the latest market developments and make vital business decisions. The weekly ICIS price reports are published in Asia, China, Middle East/south Asia, CIS, Europe, the US and Latin America. Price assessments vary depending on the region and include spot, import, export, domestic and contract prices.
Our independent and unbiased commentary includes an overview of weekly market activity, demand and supply trends, production issues, upstream movements, graphs and economic news.
Updated to Q4 2020
PVC supply in Q4 tightened after operating rates at LG Chem’s cracker in Yeosu, South Korea, unexpectedly shut down in November, resulting in lowered run rates at the company’s PVC unit in the same complex, as well as curtailed operating rates at LG Bohai’s PVC unit in Dagu, China. Deep-sea availability remained limited due to two US producers’ force majeure declarations during much of the quarter.
Demand improved in Asia as downstream construction and manufacturing activity slowly recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. Restocking activities remained buoyant in Asia, as tight global supply meant that many buyers who held off purchasing at the height of the pandemic earlier in the year were unable to build adequate inventories and subsequently had to restock.
European PVC supply tightened as global prices reached record levels, which encouraged exports by domestic producers and made imports mostly not feasible. In addition, production issues at INOVYN’s Rafnes feedstock plant persisted into the quarter. Spolana’s plant in the Czech Republic was shut down through most of October, and Shin Etsu and KEM ONE declared force majeures in October. Supply was therefore squeezed in both the domestic and global markets.
European PVC demand was stable to higher compared with Q3, as December demand was above average and high global prices spurred additional buying. While demand saw a dip during the holiday season, market sources saw higher activity than usual because of mild weather, with buyers and sellers making up for time lost earlier in the year and amid concerns of further price increases. Demand in the downstream construction industry remained below par but recovered somewhat compared to earlier in the year.
Supply of PVC remained extremely tight in Q4 2020, as global outages and production cuts continued well into the quarter. Domestic producers in the Middle East and South Asia continued to run at capacity, but were unable to make up for the shortfall as quantities were far below typical consumption.
Demand for PVC in the Middle East and south Asia stayed high in Q4 2020, as buyers remained hungry for material given the severe shortage of resin in both the import and export markets. Most convertors and processors were low on inventory, and were constantly on the lookout for raw material to keep their plants running.
PVC supply in Latin America during the fourth quarter of 2020 was extremely tight as domestic production was reduced due to shortage of US ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Additionally, shortage of US PVC for exports curtailed PVC production in Latin American downstream segments, resulting in tight supply and firmer prices since Q3 2020.
PVC demand in Latin America in the fourth quarter of 2020 remained strong, propelled by public and private construction projects initiated by local governments to invigorate the economy and by individuals improving their homes as they spent more time indoors due to the spread of the pandemic.
Supply slowly increased from an October low point as two major producers declared force majeure: one the result of hurricane damage and the other suffering technical issues in an upstream plant. Formosa Plastics lifted part of its force majeure in early December and Westlake Chemical caught up on back-orders during the month. November production neared normal levels, according to the ICIS Supply and Demand Database.
PVC demand remained firm in both the domestic market and for exports well into what is the usual season of demand lull. US construction activity remained strong and demand for pipe grade material also remained firm. The strong domestic demand in North America reduced export availability on limited production. That pushed export prices to near records and firmed contracts through the year.
We offer the following regional Polyvinyl chloride analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polyvinyl chloride marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polyvinyl chloride
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
Related products – You might also be interested in the information we publish on these related products
You may also find useful
Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polyvinyl chloride
Track historical price data
News & analysis
News & Analysis – News & market analysis specifically relating to Polypropylene
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets. Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Regional price assessments, published daily or weekly, enabling you to keep track of trading prices, understand price drivers/fluctuations and set a benchmark for contract price settl ements. ICIS offers reports on over 180 commodities across the global petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets. Information covered in our price reports includes:
Information is accessed online, via the ICIS dashboard service and is configurable to suit your preferences.
Produced by the ICIS Consulting team, these reports give a robust rolling 12-month price forecast, trade balances and in-depth analysis into where markets are heading – providing a valuable tool to support your short- to medium-term plans.
ICIS pricing intelligence is delivered to you online via the ICIS dashboard. Here you can view your reports and also access other useful services including related news, analysis, historical data and market alerts.
ICIS dashboard also makes it easy for you to create pricing charts, download price history and export data to create tailored analytical models.
ICIS weekly margin reports deliver the detail you need to understand how production costs and prices are affecting margins, enabling you to judge the likely impact on your business and optimise your upstream and downstream business decisions.
The Supply and Demand Window on the ICIS Dashboard provides a snapshot view of historical and forecast information for supply and demand, production capacity and trade flows – a key tool to help safeguard future investments within the chemicals market.
24-hour global coverage of breaking news in the petrochemical industry, including updates on production, shutdowns and key transacted deals, keeping you informed of market developments as they happen. The ICIS news service allows you to customise the market alerts delivered to your email inbox, providing the business-critical information you need straightaway.
An expert view of supply and demand comprising four fully-reconciled databases, giving you access to extensive data for more than 100 markets. Information is included on global and regional trade flows, production, capacity and sources of demand in the short-, medium- and long-term. Data can be downloaded, customised and queried to support your planning requirements and your strategic decisions.
ICIS provides specialist training courses across the global petrochemicals, base oils and fertilizers industries. Our training team of industry experts can help you increase your knowledge of the industry and gain the insight and know-how needed to operate and trade effectively.
Find out more about ICIS training courses >>
ICIS produces a series of highly informative and timely conferences. Extensive research is carried out to ensure that each programme delivers the information you need and addresses current industry issues. We source speakers who have the appropriate expertise and experience to deliver excellent quality papers.
Find out more about ICIS conferences >>
Working closely with you to understand your strategies, challenges and ambitions, the ICIS consulting team deliver tailored advice and solutions to suit your unique requirements. With many years’ experience of guiding business leadership teams, we show you how market conditions can make a positive or negative impact on your long-term plans.
ICIS expert consultants can provide your organisation with the insight, intelligence and data needed to build and grow your business in China. We can help you to gain a clear view on the short and long-term supply and demand picture in the chemicals, energy, iron and steel, non-ferrous metals and paper and pulp markets in China.
ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Polyvinyl chloride, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.
PVC is produced from the polymerisation of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM). It is a versatile thermoplastic with a wide range of uses including pipes & fittings, profiles, cables, flooring, films & sheets
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.