For one reason or another supply of PVC in several regions around the world has been disrupted over the last six months. In Europe, the region saw an unprecedented number of outages during the third and fourth quarter, when at times almost every single producer in the region was struggling with some production issues. In the US, the hurricanes that hit the US Gulf from late August to October severely impacted supply in late summer and autumn. As Europe and especially North America are the largest exporting regions for PVC in the world their shortages woes have significant implications in supply in other regions.
The situation in both regions started to improve in January, as the Christmas holidays provided some much a needed opportunity to replenish stocks and suppliers and buyers alike were looking forward to some normality. However, these hopes have been thrown into disarray by the severe disruption caused by the deep freeze in the US Gulf and another spate of production issues at several units in Europe.
A number of petrochemical plants in Texas and Louisiana have been severely impacted by the unprecedented winter storm that hit the US Gulf in mid-February. Many chlor-alkali units in this region were forced to shut down, ports and the Houston ship channel had to close creating widespread disruption in the region and beyond.
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