Weekly Market Drivers for the USA
Sept. 25, 2018
Domestic RMC retreated from peak levels mid-week as lower offers from regional producers for PVC appeared in the Asian markets, weakening US pricing expectations.
? If the turn from peak ethane and ethylene is sustained through the end of September, RMC will see an increase closer to $0.01/lb than to $0.02/lb as nominated by PVC producers for October.
? Export pricing remains flat below $0.36/lb as offers in the key Asian export region fell on average $0.03/lb, restraining price movement in export pricing from the US.
? PVC demand for the construction season will ease in coming weeks as some Q4 maintenance planned both in PVC and upstream in chlor-alkali will reduce supply. However, solid exports are needed to balance the domestic market and prevent price erosion.
Chlorine: Unchanged market fundamentals have kept chlorine spot pricing flat. Prices could start to fall off heading into Q4 as seasonal demand wanes but tempered by upcoming turnarounds.
Ethylene: Ethane reached a six-year high of $0.53/gal. Ethylene traded up again $0.02/lb to $0.22/lb this week. The cost to produce ethylene is near $0.22/lb.