Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is used almost exclusively in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacture. PVC itself is highly dependent on the construction market, which reflects the ups and downs of the world economies.
The global VCM market has been growing at nearly 4%/year. The VCM sector will remain heavily dependent upon the PVC business, which is tipped to grow at an average rate of about 5%/year globally over the next three years (2010-2013).
With the exception of China, nearly all production is now based on ethylene, which is first reacted with chlorine to make ethylene dichloride (EDC). The EDC is then converted to VCM by thermal cracking. In China, the dominant process to make VCM is based on acetylene produced from calcium carbide which is manufactured from coal and limestone.
Vinyl chloride is a colourless gas with a characteristic mild, sweet odour. A toxic and hazardous material, vinyl chloride has been classified as a group A, human carcinogen.
ICIS pricing gives you access on a weekly or real time basis to the latest price movements and critical market commentary on the Vinyl chloride market. Click below to see a quarterly market overview.
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Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is used almost exclusively in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacture. The remainder is consumed in polyvinylidene chloride and chlorinated solvents. With over 98% of VCM used in PVC, VCM demand is very dependent on the fortunes of the PVC market.
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Commercial production of VCM started in the 1920s based on the catalytic hydrochlorination of acetylene but this route suffered from high energy costs and has become obsolete except for China.
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