02 February 2009 07:05 [Source: ICIS news]
By Helen Lee
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) spot prices across Asia rebounded moderately by 1.2-6.9% in January from near five-year lows in late December, driven by low inventories and firming raw material ethylene values, producers and importers said on Monday.
Taiwan-based producer Dairen Chemical Corp raised its VAM offers to $850-900/tonne (€663-702/tonne) cost and freight (CFR) northeast (NE) Asia/southeast (SE) ?xml:namespace>
The offers were up $50/tonne from December levels on account of stable-to-firm upstream ethylene values, dwindling VAM inventory levels and improving polyvinyl alcohol derivative values, market sources said.
Buyers acknowledged that prices could increase in line with higher ethylene feedstock prices but qualified that the absence of tight supply would moderate the increase.
VAM prices rose $20/tonne to $820-850/tonne CFR SE Asia at the close of business last Friday, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing, following higher-priced February fixtures and bids.
Some end-users noted a slight improvement in demand from downstream emulsion/adhesives sector in January compared to December due to the festive season.
However, the uptrend may not be sustained due to weak activities in the real estate/construction industries amid the current global economic downturn, market participants said.
Chinese domestic VAM prices rebounded 18% in early January to yuan (CNY) 6,500-6,600/tonne ($950-965/tonne) ex-tank from late December levels of CNY5,500-5,600/tonne ex-tank due to emerging supply concerns.
This followed widespread and ongoing production cutbacks in the fourth quarter as producers made attempts to stem the price plunge.
However, prices had remained flat since then with sales volume in the key
The post-holiday demand outlook was uncertain as demand from end-users was not as robust and was below normal levels, a supplier of deep-sea material said.
($1 = €0.78; $1 = CNY6.84)
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|