US Exports of PVC Were Down 17% Through July; Further Declines Expected

The shutdown of several PVC facilities by Shintech, Westlake and Formosa Plastics due to Hurricane Ida will impact US exports, which were already down substantially from last year as of July.

Strong domestic demand and tight supplies, now further constrained by the hurricane, will likely further reduce US exports and raise prices. The US shipped 1.4 million tons of PVC through July 2021, down 17% from the same period in 2020. The average price of uncompounded PVC was $1590/ton, down slightly from the June record of $1649/ton.

Exports flows have shifted dramatically since last year, with the US shipping more polymer to Canada, Mexico and many Latin American destinations, but much lower volumes China, India and markets in the Middle East and Africa.

There was a particularly steep decline, 86%, in US exports to China which fell from 170,000 tons last year through July, to 24,700 tons. (New capacity in China was reflected in that country’s lower imports year to date, down 56%, to 349,000 tons, and higher exports, up 218%, to 1.4 million tons. China’s top destinations included many markets in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East to which US exports were down.)

From International Trader Publication’s United States Polymer Trade Report, a monthly analysis of US trade in major commodity polymers, recyclable polymers and key fabricated plastic products.