16 April 2012 18:16 [Source: ICIS news]
The increase puts US VAM contracts at 59-62 cents/lb, up from 57-60 cents/lb in the fourth quarter of 2011, as assessed by ICIS.
The US March ethylene contract settled last week at 55.75 cents/lb, up 1.75 cents/lb from February, according to market sources. Quarterly VAM contracts often settle at the end of the quarter or even a few weeks into the next period because of unsettled contracts in ethylene.
US ethylene is a major VAM feedstock.
US VAM contracts have increased 8% since the same quarter in 2011, when contracts averaged 56 cents/lb. Spot US ethylene has increased 23% in the same period, according to ICIS.
The hike in March 2012 ethylene reversed the drop in February, when contracts fell by 1.75 cents/lb to 54.00 cents/lb, pressured by lower production costs that month.
FOB (free on board) export prices for VAM are stable at $1,000–1,100/tonne, sources said.
Major US VAM sellers include Celanese, Dow Chemical, DuPont and LyondellBasell.
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