Local PVC availability in Italy has been squeezed due to the absence of several mainstream European suppliers, as per ChemOrbis. Some of the suppliers are still facing production issues at their plants while some already sold out their restricted March allocations in the absence of other producers. Despite a new round of noticeable price hikes from European PVC sellers, some converters who are in need of material ahead of the imminent high season for their applications are searching the market for prompt material. The lack of import alternatives due to the unfavorable euro/USD exchange rate parity is also adding to the urgency, causing difficulty for buyers in sourcing their needs. “We sold out March quotas this week despite our strong price hike requests. We obtained €70-90/ton increases over February on our spot done deals for a Central European origin. We received so many calls from buyers who were inquiring about prices but our stocks were really low. Import cargoes are not available either because they are not competitive at all,” a distributor confirmed. “Our regular PVC suppliers used to call us at this time of the month but we haven’t received any calls from suppliers so far, which is probably because they have limited allocations for March. Currently, we are waiting for our West European GA supplier to confirm our orders. We are ready to pay their full hike requests of €70/ton in order to be able to secure all of our needs,” a converter producing profiles and extruded tubes for medical applications told ChemOrbis. “Our end product business is performing well but extreme tightness in supply stands as a problem for us. Availability is really tight especially for locally held k70 and k67. Apparently, European producers are having production issues at their plants,” a pipe producer lamented. Last month, two West European PVC suppliers had declared force majeure on their PVC output due to adverse weather conditions. According to the buyer, one of these producers will not lift the force majeure until the middle of March, while the other producer, who has already lift the force majeure, is currently facing problems with its k67 and k70 availability. “Other European producers are either preparing to shut their plants this month for maintenance or have already sold out their limited March allocations. We had to pay an €85/ton higher price in order to be able to secure some quantities this month,” the buyer added. “We already sold out our limited March allocations with €60/ton increases over last month. We received lots of bids from Italian PVC buyers due to the absence of several European PVC producers. Our West European supplier is also planning to shut their PVC plant for maintenance this month, therefore we do not have additional volumes to offer for March,” another distributor offering on behalf of a West European PVC producer warned their customers.