Vinyl acetate monomer Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Vinyl acetate monomer or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
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Vinyl acetate monomer overview Transcript
Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) is derived from acetic acid and ethylene.
The main end-uses are: polyvinyl acetate, known as PVA and polyvinyl alcohol, known as PVOH. These go into water-based paints, adhesives, coatings and packaging.
VAM prices are impacted by upstream costs and supply demand balances. Pressure from both ethylene and acetic acid can play a significant role in price movements.
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Vinyl acetate monomer: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2014
Supply issues in the US vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) market this year have prompted expectations that the same pattern will develop that occurred in 2011, when spot prices soared on force majeures and outages before tailing off in the second half of the year. Over the past five years, US VAM spot prices have been buoyed by the onset of the paint season in late spring and early summer, with prices up in Q2 and mostly flat to down in Q3.
In Europe, VAM consumers expect availability to improve significantly during the third quarter, when the summer holiday season usually erodes demand and US plants should be operating normally after a series of scheduled turnarounds. However, supply will continue to be constrained by the extension of LyondellBasell's force majeure on VAM in the US owing to a lack of feedstock acetic acid.
Asia’s VAM spot prices are expected to vary widely in the near term because of competitively-priced Chinese material that reached the market in Q2 and impending turnarounds at plants in Southeast Asia and Taiwan during July and August. Those two factors are expected to produce big swings in pricing.
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Vinyl Acetate Monomer Methodology
About Vinyl acetate monomer
Vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) is a colourless, volatile, flammable mobile liquid, with characteristic sweet etheral odour. Vinyl acetate is a dangerous fire and explosion hazard because it will polymerise violently when exposed to heat.
It is a key intermediate used in the making of a number of polymers and resins for adhesives, coatings, paints, films, textiles and other end-products.
The largest derivative is polyvinyl acetate (PVA) which is mainly used in adhesives as it has good adhesion properties to a number of substrates including paper, wood, plastic films and metals. Other uses for PVA include paper coatings, paints and industrial coatings.
The second largest consumer of VAM is polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) which is manufactured from PVA.
VAM is consumed in the manufacture of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE).
A fast growing use of VAM is the manufacture of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) which is used as a barrier resin in food packaging, plastic bottles and gasoline tanks, and in engineering polymers.
Other VAM derivatives include vinyl chloride-vinyl acetate copolymers which have major applications in coatings, paints and adhesives.
VAM is usually produced by the catalysed, vapour phase reaction of acetic acid with ethylene and oxygen in a fixed bed tubular reactor using a supported noble metal catalyst. The VAM is recovered by condensation and scrubbing and purified by distillation.