North American PVC resin prices saw a small increase in September, with regional polypropylene prices down slightly and prices for all other commodity resins flat for the month.
Suspension PVC prices moved up 2 cents in September after a similar hike in August. Prices for the material now have increased 26.5 cents so far in 2021 and a net of 42 cents since January 2020.
Some North American PVC makers had attempted to add a 5-cent increase mid-September after the Louisiana coast was hit by Hurricane Ida on Aug. 29. Major plants operated by Shintech Inc., Formosa Plastics Corp. USA and Westlake Chemical Corp. all were shut down for periods of time.
A major Shintech PVC unit in Freeport, Texas, also was closed because of a lack of vinyl chloride monomer feedstock from supplier Olin Corp. But quick restarts of these plants helped boost supply and limited the September move to 2 cents.
Some suppliers now are seeking a 5-cent hike for Oct. 1. Market sources said that attempt could be challenged by market seasonality, with construction market demand slowing in fall months.
PVC demand "is strong, and supply is still really tight," an executive at a PVC maker said. "It will probably take all of October for us to dig out of the hole on inventory.
"It could be a tight market through the second quarter [of 2021] for PVC and the whole vinyls value chain," the executive added.
Through August, regional PVC demand was up 9 percent in film and sheet, 10 percent in rigid pipe and tubing, 12 percent in siding and related products, 24 percent in windows and doors and 35 percent in compounding, according to the American Chemistry Council.