GCC buyers resist $40-50/tonne spike in US PVC offers

18 July 2014 06:07 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Importers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are firmly resisting higher offers for US-origin cargoes that followed a surge in US ethylene prices, market sources said on Friday.

PVC offers for August shipments at $1,080-1,090/tonne CFR (cost and freight) GCC were met with weak buying interest, as most GCC importers opted to stay on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, lower offers for 300-500 tonnes prompt or end-July shipments at $1,040-1,050/tonne CFR GCC, mostly from small to medium-sized traders, found takers during the week, market sources said.

A number of large-sized and regular sellers, meanwhile, are keeping their offers steady, as they expect the lower offers in the market to “disappear” next week, and buyers would have little choice but to procure cargoes at higher prices.

In the US, ethylene prices surged following a force majeure declaration by major ethylene producer in the previous week.

Ethylene is the feedstock for the production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), which is the raw material for PVC.

The ethylene price surge prompted US PVC producers to withdraw their offers last week, and issue a $40-50/tonne price hike upon resuming shipments to the GCC this week.

Other sellers that withdrew their offers last week refrained from making offers, and are opting to wait out until a clearer trend in US ethylene and PVC prices emerged.

By Veena Pathare