29 March 2009 23:41 [Source: ICIS news]
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--US buyers of vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) expect price cuts in April due to continued weakness in the paints and coatings sector, buyers said on Sunday at the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA) conference in ?xml:namespace>
They were looking for a drop in the contract price by 3-5 cents/lb, to 37-38 cents/lb due to little or no movement in downstream markets in recent weeks.
“We’re not seeing things get worse, but we’re not seeing any improvement,” a buyer said.
Another buyer said: “Nothing’s going to change until people get comfortable going out and shopping for houses again.”
VAM is a leading ingredient in architectural paints and coatings.
All of the five US VAM plants are in the
One buyer worried that the recent run-up in crude prices to the $52-53 (€39-40) range signaled a return to the early-2008 speculative frenzy that pushed oil prices to $147.27/bbl in July.
“What I’m worried about is that the energy traders will drive oil up, which will shut everything back down again,” the buyer said.
A rise in February housing starts provided a boost for VAM market watchers, with the US Department of Commerce reporting that new home and apartment construction jumped over 22% from January.
A buyer said the next big news would be a jump in March housing starts.
“Two months makes a trend,” the buyer said. “Everybody is just waiting on the housing market now.”
($1 = €0.75)
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