After three consecutive months of rising prices, local PVC prices in Italy have stabilized in the month of April due to growing resistance from buyers, as per Chemorbis. Complaining about continuously rising local prices, many converters had shown an interest in alternative supply sources for the past several months while keeping local purchases restricted. As the high season for PVC applications has just begun, buyers are reporting that demand for their end products is only at a normal level for now. European PVC offers in Turkey’s import market for the past several weeks at prices close to the lower end of the Italian market, also confirm weak market conditions in Italy. A small increase of €10/ton posted by April ethylene contracts and comfortable regional supplies encouraged buyers to push for stable prices this month.
Supply in Italy has also seen the return of Ineos who has returned to the Italian market after the end of an agreement not to sell in Italy for a period of time following the sale of local PVC plants to Vinyls Italia. In accordance with these factors some producers conceded to small increases of €5-10/ton on their spot sales while the majority elected to maintain their March offer levels this month.“We are selling our PVC quotas at a rollover from March in order to achieve smooth sales,” a distributor commented, adding that so far, they were able to sell only 40% of their supply as local buyers are purchasing no more than their needs considering the upcoming Easter holidays, which are expected to slow the demand further. Producers have also begun to concede to rollovers as their initial offers have been rendered unworkable by persistent resistance from buyers. A source at a South European producer, who had initially come with a €40/ton increase for April, stated that they had to concede to smaller increases of €5-10/ton on their spot deals as buyers are showing resistance to larger increases this month. Many West European producers are conceding to rollovers in order to sell out their extra allocations amid slow demand, he also noted. April gentlemen’s agreements are still under negotiation, with buyers bidding for rollovers or small increases of €5-10/ton, as opposed to producers’ initial hike requests of up to €50/ton.