Europe VAM August contract prices rise on ethylene hike

17 August 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) August contract prices have settled in the range of €840–870/tonne ($1,037–1,074/tonne), up by €20/tonne at the low end, sources said on Friday.

The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis. ICIS introduced the monthly contract price assessment for VAM in March 2012.

August contract prices for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) were mostly concluded up from July, although producers were unable to achieve increases of €50/tonne, which would have recovered the higher cost of ethylene following the €140/tonne rise in the August monomer contract.

Celanese announced a €40/tonne increase for its European buyers with effect from 1 August, but this was a larger increment than could be confirmed on the buy side.

Another seller said it had concluded its August contracts at average hikes of €10–20/tonne. A reseller reported increases of €25–35/tonne.

Sellers said they would seek to recover additional margin in September, when market participants would be back from their summer holidays, and noted the possibility of further ethylene increases next month.

A buyer previously said it had achieved some rollovers from July at a level below the assessed range.

Another consumer said that producers had achieved only limited success in their efforts to raise August prices.

The source added that offtake is low, particularly from the paints and coatings sector, and said that its demand forecast for the second half of the year is not optimistic.

According to sellers, lower exports from the US have begun to reduce VAM availability in Europe.

This follows BP’s 23 July declaration of force majeure on acetic acid supply from Eastman Chemical’s Texas City plant. The European VAM market has been fairly balanced in recent months.

($1 = €0.81)


By: Samuel Weatherlake
+44 20 8652 3214



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