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.
Our network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US enables us to deliver this. We publish their insights in our comprehensive daily and weekly price reports, plus we offer the news and analysis you need to put pricing information into context.
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 Q2 2015
Asia’s vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) spot prices in the second quarter may remain firm mainly on feedstock cost pressures. Tight supply in the ethylene and acetic acid feedstock markets have led to higher prices of the raw materials in March.
The price hike was moderated by a combination of ample VAM supply on limited outlets in Europe and slow downstream market conditions.
In Taiwan, production at downstream plants may be curtailed by end-April because of potential water rationing imposed by the government as the water shortage situation worsens. This, combined with escalating VAM prices, weighed on buyers’ appetite for May volumes.
In south Korea, a price increase was pushed through by a local producer for April business. The local producer increased its price increase target to W100/kg from W50/kg for April business, as domestic supply could be reduced in April and May because of potential domestic production cutbacks in the second quarter, on the back of a spike in ethylene spot values.
However, it remains to be seen if the production cutbacks would take place in late April, because it would impact a significant 40% of supply to the local market, according to a supplier source.
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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.