MOSCOW (MRC) -- September did not bring the long-awaited reduction in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices to Russian converters. A shortage still remained in the market, no producers reduced their prices for September shipments with one exception, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.
The last year's situation is repeated in the Russian PVC market. Converters expected prices to drop in September under the pressure of the end of shutdowns for maintenance and the approach of the "winter season". But as in the previous year, strong demand and insignificant imports allowed Russian producers to maintain record high prices in the domestic market. This month, two producers further raised their PVC prices, and only one producer reduced its prices.
Higher imports in August and stable operations of domestic producers did not lead to a surplus of resin in the market. Moreover, there were still restrictions on PVC supplies from several large producers. And these restrictions played a decisive role in pricing for September.
Demand for finished products from PVC fell in many sectors in August, and in some cases, companies reported a reduction in sales of up to 30%. However, even on the back of weaker demand for finished products, demand for resin still remained strong from most converters, whereas supply opportunities of several Russian producers were limited.
There will be the last shutdown for repairs among Russian producers in September, Kaustik, Volgograd will shut its production capacities for a three-week turnaround in the third decade of the month. The plant's annual production capacity is 90,000 tonnes.
PVC imports increased significantly in August, with North Chinese producers traditionally accounting for the bulk of shipments. But already in September, imports are expected to decrease partially because of temporary restrictions on freight rail transportation by the Chinese authorities on the back of a surge in COVID-19 diseases in the region.
In the summer months, negotiations over shipments of Russian PVC were held quite quickly, whereas discussions of September deals dragged on for several days. Converters were increasingly reluctant to agree deals at record prices. However, many producers said that they had virtually sold out all their September PVC quotas by the beginning of this week.
Over the past few months, the price range of Russian resin was quite large, deals for September shipments of PVC with K=64/67 were done in the following range: Rb155,000-201,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for quantities less than 500 tonnes. Two producers raised their prices this month.
Two producers' prices of resin with К=58/70 also went up in September, whereas a producer, on the contrary, cut prices. Deals were done in the range of Rb178,000-216,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.