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US PVC imports by Turkey fell 59.5% on year in 2018: US ITC

Houston β€” US polyvinyl chloride exports rose 8.7% in 2018, but Turkey fell out of the top five export markets for US material after imposing anti-dumping duties and other policies that squeezed those flows, US International Trade Commission export data shows.

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The data show Turkey received 122,875 mt of US PVC in 2017, or 4.5% of 2.72 million mt exported that year. In 2018, flows to Turkey fell to 50,014 mt, or less than 2% of 2.96 million mt exported.

Last summer the US largely lost access to Turkey, then fifth-largest export market for US-origin PVC. In response to US tariffs on steel imports, Turkey imposed anti-dumping duties on US PVC and disallowed re-exports of products made with it. Turkey later allowed re-exports, but required buyers to post more than half of a cargo's value in cash. That requirement left many buyers unable to take US PVC amid econ mic turmoil in the country, US market sources said.

Turkey's GDP fell 3% in the fourth quarter last year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, or Turkstat, as imports grew more expensive amid a 30% decrease in the value of the lira. PVC demand is linked with GDP, as it is a staple in construction, a key indicator of economic health.

The top four markets for US PVC remained the same in 2018 - Canada, China, Mexico and Egypt, in that order. Each took more volumes compared to 2017 and collectively, those four regions received nearly 43% of total 2018 PVC exports.

China also has anti-dumping duties on US PVC, but also allows re-exports. China received 325,932 mt in 2018, up 6.4% from 2017. Canada took 489,003 mt, up 2.2%.

--Kristen Hays, kristen.hays@spglobal.com

--Edited by Richard Rubin, richard.rubin@spglobal.com