PVC prices ticked upon an average of 1 cent per pound in March after tough negotiations between buyers and sellers. Some accounts saw a slightly higher increase, while others were flat. The 1-cent increase reflects the market average.
Regional PVC prices were flat in February after dipping 3 cents in January. Prices for the material increased 31.5 cents in 2021.
Market veteran Esteban Sagel told Plastics News that PVC buyers believe availability is no longer an issue and inventories have recovered.
"With export warehouses packed and logistics making exports hard, buyers expect additional product may become available for domestic markets," said Sagel, principal of Chemical & Polymer Market Consultants in Houston. "For products like PVC or polyethylene, I'm not sure how long producers can hold onto the current high prices or justify even higher prices."
Construction activity is a main driver of PVC consumption. U.S. housing start activity in January came in at a 1.64 million annual rate, up almost 1 percent vs. the same month in 2021. This trend would indicate slightly higher PVC consumption.