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Updated to Q1 2017
The Asian vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) market saw tight supply and healthy demand in the first quarter.
VCM prices and demand are closely linked with the downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market. PVC demand was strong in the region, especially with demand from India picking up after the demonetisation policy which weighed heavily on Indian demand in the last two months of 2016. PVC prices increased in the region during the first quarter, with VCM prices moved up in tandem.
Spot availability of VCM was tight as many integrated vinyl producers retained material for captive uses. Supply in southeast Asia was tight as one of the major producers in Indonesia conducted plant turnaround in February.
Updated to Q1 2017
European vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) spot prices fell slightly compared to feedstocks in Q1 2017 due to lower prices for business heard in the market.
The European VCM market is structurally quiet because most production is integrated into PVC plants, with little spot business happening except where there are production issues. One new spot deal was settled in early March below the high end of the range, which shifted the ICIS spot price range downwards.
However, prices also shifted upwards at the end of February due to the upwards trend in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and upstream ethylene prices.
Going forward, European VCM prices will be driven by upstream and downstream prices with sources expecting low spot activity due to the integration of the majority of production. However, the anticipated stronger season for PVC due to higher activity in the downstream construction industry in Q2 may trigger some additional sales.
Updated to Q1 2017
US vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) remained a captive precursor to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) during the first quarter, with prices moving higher in tandem with those of the derivative resin.
VCM started January at about $670/tonne and rose about $85/tonne during the quarter, according to the ICIS assessment.
The majority of US merchant sales are through contract, with most material exported from the US sold to a producer of PVC with manufacturing operations in Mexico and South America.
In 2016, US VCM exports were flat compared to 2015. An explosion at a VCM plant in Mexico in April expanded US shipments to the country, but the material replaced regular shipments to Australia that ended in early 2016 when a PVC maker there stopped production.
As a result, US VCM exports to Mexico grew to 545,000 tonnes, a 14% increase. Exports to Colombia grew 8% to 374,000 tonnes and those to Canada rose 8% to more than 200,000 tonnes, according to the US International Trade Commission.
ICIS provides pricing information, news and analysis for all major petrochemical and chemical markets, including Vinyl chloride monomer.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments, giving you a robust reference for your negotiations.
ICIS collects pricing data on a wide range of chemical, energy and fertilizer products, including Vinyl chloride monomer. Our extensive experience in price reporting means we can offer you access to historical data dating back more than 20 years for certain commodities.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
Our in-depth market knowledge drives our specialist focus, as we recognise the importance of individual market dynamics and not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Over 25 years of reporting on key chemicals markets, including Vinyl chloride monomer, has brought global recognition of our methodology as being unbiased, authoritative and rigorous in preserving our editorial integrity. Our global network of reporters in Houston, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Perth and Moscow ensures unrivalled coverage of established and emerging markets.