12 October 2012 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) October contract prices have settled in the range of €865–895/tonne ($1,123–1,162/tonne), down by €10–20/tonne from September, sources said on Friday.
The contracts were concluded on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.
The October ethylene contract fell by €10/tonne, while good availability was described by sources who were attending the annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest earlier this week.
The outlook for the fourth quarter is bearish, as consumers are expected to be conservative with their inventories in the months leading up to the end-of-year holiday season.
A major point of discussion at the EPCA meeting was the growing popularity of monthly contract pricing.
Many VAM accounts are now priced on a monthly basis, while others will follow suit at the beginning of next year.
Some European suppliers have abandoned quarterly pricing altogether in recent months.
Market participants noted that monthly pricing allows for changes in feedstocks or the supply-demand balance to be reflected promptly in VAM prices.
However, some buyers said they value the stability that a quarterly pricing system provides. Many VAM contracts continue to be priced on a quarterly basis.
ICIS introduced the monthly contract price assessment for VAM in March 2012.
Third-quarter contract prices were assessed at €860–920/tonne FD NWE, down by €20–30/tonne from September.
Spot prices were assessed at €850–880/tonne FD NWE this week, down by €10/tonne.
($1 = €0.77)
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