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China's December PVC exports fall on month amid higher freight rates

Highlights

China's Q4 PVC exports more than double

Global PVC market hits record-high in Dec

Singapore — China's PVC exports in December dropped 28.9% on the month to 76,343 mt, as higher freight rates limited export opportunities, latest data by Chinese Customs showed Jan. 25.

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From a year earlier, however, exports marked a steep 199.9% increase.

Asia's PVC demand remained firm due to limited spot availabilities, notably from the US. US supplies to Asia have been slashed due to multiple plant shutdowns.

As a result, Chinese PVC started to export their cargoes in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, China's PVC exports amounted at 280,218 mt, more than double compared to 102,229 mt registered in the third quarter.

For the fourth quarter, China's PVC exports to India stood at 31,252 mt, more than five times from 5,996 mt in the third quarter, the data showed.

But in December, China's PVC exports slowed down as limited container space availabilities made it difficult to do so. China's exports to India in December stood at 9,389 mt, down 7% from a month earlier.

The data showed that China's active exports continued to Brazil in December. China exported 10,396 mt of PVC to Brazil in December, down 25% from a month earlier. Traders continued to move PVC from China to Brazil in a bid to cover supply shortfall from the US.

For the fourth quarter, China's PVC exports to Brazil stood at 31,100 mt, nearly 20 times compared to 1,662 mt in the previous quarter, the data showed.

Global PVC market hit record highs in December, driven by tight supplies from the US while Asia demand remains stable-to-firm. According to S&P Global Platts data, the CFR India price rose 13.7% from a month earlier to 1,382/mt in December, while CFR Brazil price averaged at $1,565/mt in December, up 13.4% from the previous month.

CFR China PVC price was up 5.2% on the month to $1,152/mt in December, the data showed.

Meanwhile, China's caustic soda exports in December stood at 57,402 mt, almost 5 times compared to 10,860 mt in November, the customs data showed. China's caustic soda exports increased in December amid high chlor-alkali plant operations, which have been prompted by bullish PVC market globally.