Prices for PVC to grow expectedly

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers expectedly raised the prices for PVC in April by RUB 1.000 - 2.000/t, spot market hasn't completely reacted to considerable growth of prices for resin in USA, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Because of scheduled shutdowns of two enterprises in Volgograd and Sajansk, PVC contract deliveries for April have considerably decreased. For many contract clients reduction in deliveries volumes from Russian producers aren't critical. Weak demand for finished goods made of PVC allowed to make efficient material stocks. Also some companies contracted PVC from North America which will allow them to compensate the lack of the Russian resin in April-May.

In spot market the transient process is observed. Export prices for North American resin for April have grown more than by USD 100/mt compared to March level of prices. In the Russian market not all companies have transferred growth of export prices to domestic quotations. Price offer for North American PVC was within RUB 47.000 - 49.000/t, including VAT, СРТ Moscow. Soon prices correction will go on and it will approach contract prices of Russian producers.

Spot market has split into two parts. Converters who realize inevitability of serious growth of resin prices tried to purchase PVC for future. Other companies don't hurry to make additional purchases because of available stocks of resin, despite forecasted growth of prices.


PET prices beat new records

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Prices for PET beat new records that is caused by feedstock deficit in the Russian market and growing prices in Asia, according to MRC analysts. Now the prices for PET granulate from main Russian producers are within the range RUB 75.5 - 77 thous. At the end of last week Asian PET was traded within the range USD 1.880 - 1.920/mt, FOB. From the year start PET prices n the domestic market have grown by RUB 12 thous.

Dollar rate against rouble has a lowering tendency in Russia that may neutralize growing prices in Asia. The tendency in the currency market may change in April since now dollar against rouble is at its minimum since last year.

Many market players now refuse from Asian PET, despite a higher level of prices from Russian producers. The main reason for that is high risks of long-term logistics.


Asian phenol prices are likely to trend higher in the coming weeks

(ICIS) -- Asian phenol prices are likely to trend higher in the coming weeks, bolstered by rare spot purchases by quake-ravaged Japan and regional plant maintenance, as well as firm downstream demand, market players said on Friday. Stubbornly high feedstock prices, both propylene and benzene alike, also led to rising prices, they added.

In the week ended 25 March, phenol prices were assessed as USD1.920-1.950/tonne (EUR 1.344-1.365/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) China Main Port versus USD 1.810-1.840/tonne CFR CMP a month ago, according to ICIS data.

Compounding the situation, the trade flow has reversed with Japan switching to a spot phenol buyer from a net exporter. No spot shipments were seen from Japan after the devastating earthquake last month, traders said.

Japan has made an unusual spot purchase of 10 KT of phenol from China, Taiwan and South Korea for delivery in April, amid production turmoil in the aftermath of the 11 March disaster.

Japan is expected to continue buying phenol on the spot market from April to June, a move that would fuel prices further.


US polyethylene terephthalate domestic prices increased

(ICIS) -- US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) domestic prices increased by 5-7 cents/lb in March on high raw material costs, tight supply and strong demand, sources said on Thursday. Domestic prices for bottle grade PET were assessed by ICIS at 99.50-101.50 cents/lb (USD 2.194-2.238/tonne, EUR 1.558-1589/tonne) DEL (delivered), representing an increase of 5.29 cents/lb.

While several producers achieved their targeted March price increase of 7 cents/lb, sources said that the majority of prices were settled at or just below 100 cents/lb.

The primary driver for PET price hikes was the conclusion of the March paraxylene (PX) contract price at a split settlement of 84.75 cents/lb and 85.50 cents/lb DEL, up 2.75 and 3.50 cents/lb respectively from the February price.

This resulted in a March contract price for downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) of 70.68-70.78 cents/lb DEL, up 2.10 cents/lb from February. PTA is the principal feedstock for PET.

PET producers said their margins had been severely eroded in recent months, and the current strong market fundamentals provided an opportunity to remedy this situation.


Wind energy sector causes epoxy resins shortages for coatings firms

(ICIS) -- The strengthening downstream wind energy sector was causing epoxy resins shortages for coatings manufacturers, sources at the 2011 European Coatings Show in Nuremberg, Germany, said on Thursday. Heavy epoxies used in the manufacture of wind turbines, a fast-growing industry, meant less was available for the traditional coatings industry, according to several players.

Producers and buyers also said that many composites and amines, used as curing agents for epoxies, were now heading to China where they could be sold for a much higher price. This has compounded long-running problems with upstream bisphenol A (BPA), as plant outages and high prices of the feedstock have restricted epoxy production.

This has led to epoxy resins hitting EUR 2.950-3,050/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in March.

Adding further tension was the fact that the traditional downstream paints and coatings season was about to kick in as the weather warms across Europe, so epoxies demand was set to increase and keep availability short.

Manufacturers were already chasing EUR 100/tonne (USD 141/tonne) hikes for April contracts, though so far most seemed to be settling for half that.