North American prices for all grades of PVC declined in December for the second consecutive month, as a seasonal slowdown in construction activity reduced demand for the material.
Regional PVC prices declined by an average of 1 cent per pound in December, matching the drop seen in November. Prior to these decreases, regional PVC prices had been flat for two consecutive months.
One market source told Plastics News that although exports of PVC from North America increased in December, lower demand and operating rates of only around 75 percent led to the price drop.
"Second half [PVC] demand was slower than the first half," the source said.
Combining increases and decreases, prices for PVC declined an average of 2 cents per pound in 2023.
U.S. housing starts for November came in at an annual rate of 1.46 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That number is down 2 percent vs. October, but up more than 4 percent vs. the same month in 2022. Construction activity accounts for about 60 percent of North American PVC demand.