US & Global Economic Impact Analysis and Forecasts

Freedonia analysts and economists are sharing their insights on how major events are impacting different parts of the US and global economies.

Expansion of PVC Production Capacity Spurred by Pandemic-Related Demand

The recent announcement by Shintech that it would expand its PVC production capacity in the US demonstrates that many of the changes to the US economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to continue going forward – and companies are adjusting accordingly.

The large majority of PVC use in the US is in the construction market, which – as regular readers of the TFG COVID-19 tracker know – has been a source of strength to the economy as homeowners have invested in their residences with a number of improvement and repair projects. This trend is expected to continue going forward as homeowners will continue to remodel and renovate their homes. Furthermore, home building is forecast to continue at a brisk pace as people seek to move out of multifamily dwellings in densely populated urban cores, instead opting for single-family homes in suburbs and exurban areas.

Continuing growth in construction activity will boost demand for a wide range of vinyl building products, key among them:

  • window and doors
  • flooring – especially popular luxury vinyl tile (LVT)
  • pipe – drain, waste, and vent (DWV); conduit; and larger-sized sewer and wastewater pipe
  • decking
  • siding (especially insulated varieties with foam cores)
  • low-slope roofing materials
  • laminates used in cabinets and home furnishings
  • jacketing for wire and cable

In addition to construction materials, another key market for PVC is for medical products, which saw strong demand growth in 2020.  Efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have required the use of numerous vinyl-containing products, including:

  • tubing and catheters
  • bags and pouches
  • medical device components
  • medical and pharmaceutical packaging

Even as COVID-19 cases recede as vaccination rates rise, healthcare facilities will continue to consume large quantities of medical supplies, many of which will be made with PVC.

For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, particularly in the Construction and Building Products as well as packaging-related topics such as Pouches, Converted Flexible Packaging, Medical Device Packaging, and Global Disposable Medical Supplies. Freedonia also offers an expanding catalog of COVID-19 Economic Impact reports, which highlight how various industries are responding to the current crisis with a comparison to recent recessions. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.