The ICIS global vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) report is published weekly and covers Asia, Europe and the US. All three regions have price assessments for the spot markets within the report and there is valuable news and analysis within the commentary.
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Vinyl chloride monomer news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Vinyl chloride monomer analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Vinyl chloride monomer marketplace.
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Vinyl chloride monomer: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2018
As a result of the closure of upstream chlorine capacity in Q4 2017, the overall production of ethlylene dichloride (EDC) and therefore vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is expected to fall from 2018 onwards. However, any deficit in EDC production is likely to be filled by imports or re-directed European volumes meaning that there is unlikely to be a significant shortage in the market.
Downstream PVC demand is expected to see healthy growth in 2018, with the European economy and manufacturing expected to do well and consistent growth in India. As a result, the demand outlook for VCM is also bullish.
Supply of US VCM is likely to grow toward the end of the first quarter of 2018 as compounders and processors of derivative polyvinyl chloride build inventories ahead of the summer peak demand season.
Demand for US VCM should increase toward the end of the first quarter as PVC production ramps up ahead of the peak demand season for resins to make construction materials.
Updated to Q4 2017
Supply is expected to be tight in Q4, as turnarounds in Japan and Taiwan are ongoing with some producers indicating little to none spot availability for the quarter. In southeast Asia, one major producer is having a scheduled turnaround later in the year. In China, operating rates at chlor-alkali plants are expected to be low due to stringent environmental inspections.
Demand for vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) in Asia is expected to be stable in Q4 as downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) demand is projected to be steady. Chinese PVC demand is forecast to be stable, but if carbide-based PVC supply remains tight, there will be a good opportunity for ethylene-based PVC producers in the country to increase production.
News & analysis
Vinyl chloride monomer news & analysis
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Vinyl Chloride Monomer Methodology
About Vinyl chloride monomer
Vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) 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.
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.
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.