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OxyChem sees continued strong demand for PVC and caustic soda in H2 2021

August 06/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Occidental Petroleum sees continued strong demand for construction staple polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and caustic soda through the rest of 2021, driven largely by tight supply, homebuilding growth and continued global economic recovery from COVID-19 fallout, reported S&P Global with reference to CFO Robert Peterson's statement Aug. 4.

Peterson said the company sees domestic PVC demand up 16% from Q2 2020, and up 13% from pre-pandemic 2019, he said during the company's Q2 2021 earnings call.

"And so strong demand is also attributed to really low levels of inventory and supply chain, combined with the construction sector, which you're seeing, and obviously, in a lot of their construction materials," he said.

Occidental reported a USD97 million loss for the quarter, up from an USD8.35 billion loss in Q2 2020 at the height of COVID-19 shutdowns. OxyChem, the company's chemical segment, reported a USD312 million profit, nearly triple USD108 million a year ago.

"We expect that 2021 will be a record year for OxyChem," he said.

Peterson noted that US housing starts have been strong, fueled in part by low mortgage rates and in part by consumers seeking more space or expanding their existing homes during elongated stretches of working from home amid COVID-19. That construction boom has fed demand for PVC, which is used to make pipes, window frames, vinyl siding and other products.

At the same time, PVC supply has been constrained by two hurricanes in 2020, a deep freeze in mid-February that forced weeks-long petrochemical plant shutdowns, and operational issues. The US normally exports more than 30% of about 8.2 million mt/year in US PVC capacity, but outflows have declined sharply amid the domestic pull for less overall volume availability.

Caustic soda prices have begun recovering from sluggish demand in 2019 and 2020, Peterson said.

Chlor-alkali production has faced similar setbacks on extreme weather and operational issues, keeping rates lower than the typical 90% range during warmer months. That means less PVC and caustic soda availability when demand for both is seen robust, he said.

Caustic soda demand was seen continuing to grow alongside economic recovery and growth, he said. More participation in sports events, concerts and travel, and returns to offices, means more demand for paper products Ц bulk delivery boxes, printing paper, cups and napkins.

As MRC informed before, OxyChem had a seven-day PVC turnaround slated for April, 2020, at its plant in Pasadena, Texas, USA. This plant's production capacity is 1 million mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 515,900 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 1% year on year. At the same time, two producers reduced their output.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OxyChem) is a California-based oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America. Oxychem is Oxy's Texas-based subsidiary which manufacture polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, chlorine and caustic soda used in plastics, pharmaceuticals and water treatment chemicals.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PVC, kausticheskaya soda, SPVC, rigid pipes, construction, window profile, OxyChem, USA.
Category:General News
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