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Plastics pricing: Asian PVC markets move higher for April

More PVC is processed in Asia than in any other region of the world, and processors there can expect to see prices for the material move up again next month. That is the scenario being pushed by sellers of the material; buyers are not yet fully convinced but may have little choice as supply is limited across the region.

Following the $50-60/ton increases for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that were passed this month, Asian PVC markets are indicating another bullish month, with overseas producers seeking noticeable price hikes on their April offers to China and Southeast Asia. Higher offers and sell ideas are right in line with players' expectations given scarce VCM supplies in Southeast Asia and tighter import availability to China as a result of the repercussions of the March 11 earthquake in Japan, according to plastics pricing specialist ChemOrbis, which shared its outlook on Asian PVC pricing with PlasticsToday.

In China, following the initial April announcements, prices for PVC from Asian suppliers rose by $80/ton when compared with the March done deal levels. Prices out of the U.S. showed a similar pattern, with April imports to China offered at $20-30/ton higher than last month.
 
ChemOrbis expects more suppliers to approach the Chinese market with similar increases on their prices in the days to come, but reports that buying interest remains restricted for now. Sellers, though, are confident that they soon will be able to conclude deals at these levels due to upward pressure from the cost side as well as ongoing supply difficulties. 
 
In Southeast Asia, import PVC prices for April have also moved higher. A Thai supplier disclosed its April price with a monthly increase of $60/ton, while another Thai producer floated an increase of $120/ton from its March done deals, although no official announcement has come from this particular producer yet. Meanwhile, a trader offering PVC out of Taiwan implemented a second increase on his April prices, bringing his new offers $50/ton above his previous price level. Plus, he claimed to ChemOrbis to have sold some material at this new price level.  
 
Extremely tight vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) supplies in Southeast Asia, which has already caused some Vietnamese producers to shut their plants, healthy demand for imports, as well as rising domestic prices in Southeast Asia in the face of a shortage of local and Japanese cargoes were cited as the main reasons behind the bullish trend across the region.

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