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Japan's May PVC exports hit 13-month low as India demand falls

Highlights

Half of Japan's monthly exports go to India

India's PVC demand to remain low amid COVID-19 lockdowns

Japan's polyvinyl chloride exports fell 5.9% month on month in May to hit a 13-month low of 42,212 mt, amid India's partial lockdown, the latest data by Japanese Customs showed June 30. From a year earlier, the exports fell 10.8%.

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Around half of Japan's monthly exports go to India, where it enjoys zero import tax. Japan's PVC exports to India also hit a 13-month low of 22,310 mt in May as partial lockdown in India amid surging COVID-19 cases lowered PVC buying appetite.

CFR India PVC price averaged at $1,545/mt in May, from a record high level of $1,657.50/mt in April, according to S&P Global Platts data.

India was hit by the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in May, which resulted in partial lockdowns in major cities. India's buying appetite for PVC cargoes diminished quickly as economic activities slowed down amid partial lockdowns.

Market sources said India started recovering from the second wave in June. However, the sources expect a slower recovery.

"The second wave hit different provinces at different times. The recovery timing is also expected to be different in each province," a market source said.

Spot price basis CFR India would likely continue to fall, tracking weaker monthly offers.

The monthly offer for July was announced at $1,380/mt CFR India, down from $1,520/mt for June and $1,670/mt for May, according to market sources.