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
Asian vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) spot prices are likely to remain at record highs owing to global supply shortages, as producers continue to target sales into Europe where they can achieve more attractive yields.
Although global supply was expected to remain tight into July, buyers were sceptical that high prices could be sustained in the latter half of the year. The outlook beyond June remains unclear, but VAM producers are geared to safeguard margins following a period of eroded margins in the past year.
Participants in the European market were not expecting a significant improvement in the supply situation during April and May, and prices were expected to remain high accordingly. March contract prices increased by €120-200/tonne to a record high.
Plant closures in Europe in late 2013, coupled with forces majeures and scheduled maintenance at US plants this year, have tightened supply in the US and raised prices by more than 60% in 2014. Buyers and sellers say prices should fall after plants return to normal operating levels, but that may not be until the third quarter.
Updated to mid-April 2014
News & analysis
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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.