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North American PVC production up nearly 4% from April: ACC

http://www.chemnet.com   Jun 13,2018 platts
North American PVC production rose nearly 4% in May compared to April, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the American Chemistry Council, reflecting stronger demand and the April ramp-up from a March turnaround at Shintech's operations in Freeport, Texas.

Production reached nearly 1.45 billion lb for the month, up from nearly 1.4 billion lb in April. May production was 9% higher than the year-ago month's output of more than 1.35 billion lb, reflecting strong operating rates.

Total May sales reached nearly 1.44 billion lb, with more than 903 million lb sold into the North American domestic market and more than 507 million lb designated for export. The domestic total was 4% higher than in April, and nearly 4% lower than the year-ago month. Exports were more than 2% higher than April levels and a sharp 45% higher than in May 2017.

The increase in both domestic sales and exports reflects strong demand on both fronts. Domestic demand, driven by seasonal construction in warmer months, has been ramping up after being hindered by winter storms in the US Northeast and Midwest that lasted into spring. Export demand picked up in early May, boosting prices that had fallen more than 10% through March and April.

US PVC producers have had limited export volume availability so far in June and have had little pressure to ship out cargoes given robust domestic demand. Formosa Plastics launched maintenance work this month at its Point Comfort, Texas, complex, and Westlake Chemical has been working to wrap up May maintenance that stretched into early June at its Plaquemine, Louisiana, operations as well.
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