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 Q3 2018
Supply of PVC is expected to be decreased. Major northeast Asian producer Formosa Plastics Corporation is also undergoing turnaround for around two weeks from late June to early July. Pressure on carbide-based PVC production in China due to stringent environmental regulations are expected to continue. UPC’s unexpected PVC plant closure in Taizhou, China, could also tighten supply in China.
Demand for PVC in India is expected to increase after the monsoon season, although the ban on letters of undertaking (LOUs) and letters of comfort (LOCs) has may dampen market sentiment. Downstream demand in Malaysia and Indonesia are also expected to increase the long Ramadan holidays.
The supply outlook is uncertain due to global developments. New regulations in Turkey will render US PVC uncompetitive and needing a new destination, which may increase US exports into Europe. However, this may also create an opportunity for European exports to fill the gap in the market in Turkey.
Demand is expected to rise in July but fall in August as a result of the summer holiday period, creating an overall stable outlook. The European economic outlook has become more uncertain which may result in lower business activity in the next quarter.
PVC supply in Latin America should be balanced to long for the third quarter of 2018, on continued stable regional production along with steady imports from the US amid moderate regional demand. Production in Colombia and Mexico should be sufficient for continuing export offers to South America and to other regions.
PVC demand in Latin America in the third quarter of 2018 is expected to gradually improve in Argentina and Brazil as the countries’ economic issues are resolved. Brazil is expected to continue its still slow recovery, while the IMF’s credit line should ease some of Argentina’s more urgent economic issues.
US PVC supply during the third quarter will move higher in the US domestic market where producers will direct production to fill lucrative demand from the domestic construction sector while trimming volumes allocated to export sales.
US PVC demand should remain firm during the third quarter as the US construction season runs at its peak. Export demand could wilt if China imposes threatened tariffs that it has promised as a response if the US goes through with plans to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.
PVC supply is expected to ease in the third quarter. Most of the northeast Asian producers would have completed their turnarounds in June. However, Formosa will shut one PVC unit in Linyuan in late July on a planned maintenance. In the Middle East, supply is expected to be ample, as a GCC-based producer does not have any turnarounds scheduled for the third quarter.
PVC demand is expected to be muted in India in the third quarter, on seasonally weaker pipe sales during the monsoon season from July to September. While consumption in India will be low, a downside to prices could be tempered by an expected strong demand for the PVC market in China. In the Middle East, demand is expected to be stable, as market players return from their Eid holidays.
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.
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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.
Vinyl chloride monomer