Impact of COVID-19 on the Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Market
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the world’s third largely produced synthetic plastic polymer after polyethylene and polypropylene. Over 65 million tons of polyvinyl chloride was produced in 2018 and 2019 which has increased by over 18% in past 5 years. The increase in PVC production is accompanied by its increasing demand in water service pipe, drainage pipe, blood storage bags, window frames, medical devices, cable and wire insulation, roofing membranes, resilient flooring, automotive interiors, seat coverings, fashion & footwear, stationary, packaging, credit cards, cling film, synthetic leather, vinyl records, coated fabrics, and others. Some of the major producers are Shin-Etsu Chemicals, Formosa Plastics, Inovyn, ChemChina, Mexichem, Westlake, Hubei Yihua Chemical, and others.
However, the increasing pandemic situation due to COVID–19, has hampered the polymer market which is expected to show a decrease in price owing to balanced-to-long supply in the market. Companies such as Kemone and Inovyn has witnessed disruption in its supply chain across Europe over to lockdowns across the region. Hubei Yihua Chemical in China had shut down their 240,000 MT/year PVC unit. However, during March and April companies such as Formosa Plastics which has put an 850 Kilotons per annum plant for PVC in Texas and Shintech is building its inventory. While the PVC demand is negatively impacted in the industries such as construction and automotive. The usage of PVC in medical tubing is however expected to gain a sharp CAGR of over 11%. The demand for drug delivery system is increasing owing to rising incidence of COVID-19 cases, globally. The market is also influenced by growth of COVID-19 infection in people which have a pre-existing medical condition of asthma or diabetics. Thus, these factors are fueling the sales of medical tubing for drug delivery application which in turn is expected to boost the market in coming years. However, the ban on logistics by governments is a major set back for the market.
It is expected that with the ease in lockdown and logistics, the demand for PVC will be back to its pre-COVID-19 period. Additionally, the usage of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in medical devices and instruments during COVIV-19 period is expected to boost the market of PVC in term of demand and consumption form the healthcare industry.