PVC prices up 3 cents in Sept.

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers

AKRON, OHIO (Sept. 27, 12 p.m. ET) — Two months of flat pricing for North American PVC came to an end in September as prices rose an average of 3 cents per pound.

Regional PVC makers “wanted to raise prices in August, but they waited too long,” a Texas-based PVC buyer said. “Ethylene spot has gone up quite a bit [in September] and the export market has come back to life.”

An official with a PVC-making firm agreed that the export market “is coming back,” and added that his firm is sold out of its current resin output.

U.S./Canadian PVC sales were up about 4 percent in the first half of 2012, according to the American Chemistry Council in Washington. Domestic sales increased slightly less than 4 percent, with export sales up just over 4 percent in that period.

The increase in domestic sales is encouraging to many in the industry, since that market has been hammered in recent years as the U.S. construction market retracted after the global economic recession. Even in the current market, construction uses accounted for about 60 percent of domestic PVC sales in the first half.

An increase of almost 6 percent in sales of PVC into rigid pipe and tubing was especially welcome. That category is the industry’s largest sales sector, with products used in infrastructure in residential and commercial construction.

“The domestic market has taken off,” the Texas-based buyer said. “Most pipe producers are busy right now and [resin] inventories are low.”

Other areas showing solid sales growth in the domestic PVC market were extruded windows and doors (up 16 percent) and siding-related applications (up more than 6 percent).

If North American PVC sales continue at their current pace in the second half, the market would have sales of about 15 billion pounds, surpassing its pre-recession 2007 sales total of 14.6 billion pounds. But the makeup of the market has changed dramatically since then, as lower U.S. ethylene feedstock prices and PVC demand from growing markets around the world have allowed North American PVC markets to boom, while domestic demand receded.

Exports accounted for 34 percent of first-half 2012 PVC sales after accounting for almost 39 percent of that total in full-year 2011. By comparison, exports generated only 10 percent of regional PVC sales in 2007.

The 3-cent September price hike comes after prices remained flat in July and August. PVC makers now are seeking price hikes of five cents per pound effective Oct. 1. Market watchers said that at least part of that increase might be able to stick.

Major PVC plants in the Louisiana area were shut down in advance of Hurricane Isaac in late August, but most of those plants soon were restarted. Industry contacts said those temporary shutdowns weren’t expected to have much impact on PVC supply.

Prior to the two-month flat period, regional PVC prices had dipped a total of 7 cents per pound in May and June, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart. The 3-cent September increase means that regional PVC prices now have returned to the price levels they were at when the year began.


Comments

PVC prices up 3 cents in Sept.

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: September 27, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ascend targets nylon for auto applications, opening propylene monomer unit in Texas

April 18, 2014 10:57 am ET

Materials firm Ascend Performance Materials Inc. is in full operation at its new nylon 6/6 compounding line in Florida and will break ground by the...    More

Dutch company launching $100 million PP, PE recycling plant

April 18, 2014 10:42 am ET

Quality Circular Polymers is building a new plastics recycling operation in Geleen, the Netherlands' Chemelot industrial chemical site, with a...    More

Lumena suspends trading, delays report amid claims of 'misrepresenting' financials

April 18, 2014 10:19 am ET

China Lumena New Materials Corp., which says it has the world's largest manufacturing capacity for polyphenylene sulfide resin, has suspended its...    More

PolyQuest spins off FiberQuest unit

April 18, 2014 10:14 am ET

PolyQuest Inc. has spun off its FiberQuest unit — which distributes polyester staple fibers and cotton — as a separate company.    More

UK firm Colloids to build its first masterbatch facility in China

April 18, 2014 10:02 am ET

U.K. masterbatch maker Colloids Ltd. said April 17 it plans to build a $6 million factory in Suzhou, China, its first outside the United Kingdom.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events