Petrotahlil - US and Latin American polyvinyl chloride markets saw shrinking buy interest from customers wary of adding inventory, amid uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.
"The market is in confusion and price trend is bearish," a US market source said. "The price is depending on the situation, case by case."
US export PVC prices fell $35/mt to $620/mt FAS Houston on Wednesday, extending last week's $185/mt decline.
The Pacific Coast of South America and Brazil, both key Latin American PVC import markets, had no confirmed deals amid falling prices as market participants stepped back, expecting further demand declines.
"Demand is null," a Latin American source said.
Demand for PVC, a construction staple, is closely tied to economic health and GDP. Pricing declines have been starker with PVC than other polymers, but all face some level of pressure as economies try to stem the pandemic's spread.
"They're all taking it on the chin," a US polymer trade source said.
**NOVA Chemicals has reduced about 90% of its total construction workforce on a new 454,000 mt/year polyethylene facility and Corunna cracker expansion in Ontario to temporarily focus on the most critical work. It will ramp up the work when considered appropriate for safe completion.
**Non-LST ethane prices fell 5.7% on the day to 10.25 cents/gal Wednesday.
**US spot ethylene for April was flat at 8 cents/lb FD Mont Belvieu and 7.25 cents/lb FD Choctaw.
**Non-LST propane prices rose 2.625 cents/gal to 30.50 cents/gal.
**April spot polymer-grade propylene prices were flat at 23.25 cents/lb FD USG, while refinery grade propylene was stable at 10 cents/gal FD USG.
**Export low density polyethylene prices fell $11/mt on the day to $926-$948/mt (42-43 cents/lb) FAS Houston.
**Export high density polyethylene blowmolding prices dropped $11/mt day on day to $651-$673/mt (29.5-30.5 cents/lb) FAS Houston.
**Export linear low density polyethylene butene prices declined $11/mt to $651-$673/mt (29.5-30.5 cents/lb) FAS Houston.
**Export homopolymer polypropylene prices were stable at $1,058/mt FAS Houston.
**US export PVC prices fell $35/mt on the week to $615-$625/mt FAS Houston.
**US polystyrene prices were unchanged at $1,036-$1,058/mt FAS Houston.
**Post-consumer FOB Los Angeles bottle bales for both premium and curbside grades fell 1 cent/lb to 18 cents/lb and fell 0.50 cent/mt to 7.50 cents/lb, respectively, while the FOB Chicago marker was flat at 10 cents/lb.
**US import polyethylene terephthalate prices were flat on the week at 49-40 cents/lb ($866-$888/mt), while US PET fell 50 points to 49.50 cents/lb ($1,080-$1,102/mt) in formula-based pricing.
**Latin American PVC prices were down $50/mt on the week to $715-$725/mt CFR WCSA and down $30/mt on the week at $795-$805/mt CFR Brazil.
**CFR WCSA spot LDPE prices fell $20/mt week on week to $975-$985/mt, while CFR Brazil LDPE pricing was down $30/mt to $970-$990/mt.
**CFR WCSA spot LLDPE was down $20/mt week on week at $745-$755/mt, while CFR Brazil LLDPE butene was down $20/mt at $730-$750/mt.
**CFR WCSA prices for HDPE film-grade declined $20/mt week on week to $765-$775/mt, while CFR Brazil HDPE film was down $20/mt at $770-$790/mt.
**CFR WCSA spot homopolymer-grade polypropylene prices were down $50/mt week on week at $845-$855/mt, and copolymer-grade PP was down $20/mt at $935-$945/mt.
**In Brazil, homopolymer polypropylene prices fell $70/mt week on week to $890-$910/mt, while spot co-polymer polypropylene was also down $60/mt to $940-$960/mt CFR Brazil.
**US spot MTBE prices were flat at 67 cents/gal on Wednesday.
**April US methanol prices rose 4.89 cents/gal higher to 68.05 cents/gal.
**US April benzene prices rose 8.4% to finish at 103 cents/gal.
**April styrene monomer closed up $45/mt at $445/mt FOB USG.
**FOB USG April and May toluene (nitn) prices rose 3 cents/gal to 92 cents/gal.
**FOB USG April and May mixed xylenes prices rose 2 cents/gal to 94 cents/gal.
**FOB USG spot paraxylene prices fell $10/mt to $505/mt.
**USGC light straight-run naphtha prices rose 10% on the day to 34.75 cents/gal.
**NYMEX May RBOB prices settled at 67.80 cents/gal, up 2.98 cents/gal.
**US acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene prices fell 3 cents/lb to 76-77 cents/lb on the week.
**Container line Matson's China-to-US traffic in March rose 41%, including a 74.4% increase in shipments from Shanghai. Total US seaborne imports from Chinese ports fell 34.3% year on year in March, according to preliminary data from Panjiva, the trade analysis unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
Follow us on twitter @petrotahlil