Bullish outlooks for PVC in Asia contrary to outlook for Europe

Players await new offers for February shipment from mainstream Asian suppliers after deal conclusion of January imports with $50-60/ton increases in China, as per Chemorbis. Bullish sentiments and buoyant market outlook in the Chinese market has players expecting to see new offers pass the US$1000/ton threshold on CFR basis. Reasons for these buoyant expectations include rising costs, limited supplies, persistently escalating domestic prices and the overall bullish atmosphere in other polymer markets. Supplies, which were already limited before the New Year holiday, have recently tightened, according to regional players, due to the snow storms in North China, where many of the PVC plants are located. In the meantime, end demand for PVC applications is said to be normal for this time of the year while ethylene and VCM costs sustain their steadily rising trend. The trend seems similar in Southeast Asia, where players in Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand have reported noticeable increases for local PVC prices, with bullish outlook for the awaited February announcements to China. Contrary to these positive sentiments, outlook for January is a little dim in Europe, complete resumption of market activity is expected by January 11, post the Christmas and New Year holidays. Early this week, Ineos announced a €50/ton price hike for January PVC contracts in the region, blaming rising costs and the need to improve their margins. Early sell ideas in Italy’s spot PVC market indicate intentions to increase offers by €10-20/ton in line with persistently rising trend in the other global markets. Import prices to Italy have already risen by €50-70/ton for Mexican and US origins since late December. However, buyers resistance is expected and rollovers are expected given the fact that demand remains frail and supplies are comfortable in anticipation of an ease in supplies with the arrival of import cargoes secured during December to be delivered in January and resumption of operations after over six months at Vinyls Italia. While price hikes may fizzle out this month, they are expected to be on an uptrend in the Italian market starting from February. Although the upward pressure on the PVC offers made to Turkey from Asia is growing, European cargoes with competitive prices may continue to find their way to the country throughout January amidst the low season and poor buying interest.
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