LONDON (ICIS)--Some European vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) May contract prices have been concluded at lower levels than were agreed for April, a producer said on Friday.
The majority of May business has yet to be finalised. European availability is expected to improve somewhat next month, but the market will remain relatively tight, sources said.
The producer said that it has settled several of its May contract prices in the high €1,400s/tonne FD (free delivered), which was significantly lower than the levels it agreed for its April contracts.
The source said that it shared consumers' concerns about the long-term sustainability of VAM derivative products.
The producer added that it had sold 200 tonnes at €1,800/tonne FD on the spot market this week. This was above the price levels indicated by most sources in recent weeks.
A second producer said that it expects prices to be stable into May, with supply shortages persisting into June.
Asian tonnes were heard arriving this week, with much of the quantity being transported in isotanks. The first producer said that the volumes are priced at €1,300-1,350/tonne FD, and amount to approximately 3,000 tonnes altogether.
The second producer noted that there are some concerns in the market about the quality of this material.
A buyer said that it had been offered spot tonnes in the low €1,400s/tonne FD, but did not need to acquire any. Availability appears to be gradually improving, the buyer added.
Another buyer felt that the market was noticeably calmer than it had been earlier in the month, with spot volumes easier to obtain. The source said that it had received one offer just above €1,500/tonne FD, and another for 100 tonnes above €1,450/tonne FD.
April contract prices were assessed by ICIS in the range of €1,280-1,580/tonne FD northwest Europe (NWE). Spot prices were assessed this week in the range of €1,400-1,700/tonne FD NWE.