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.
This market intelligence incluces overviews, production news, downstream and upstream movements, economic news, trade statistics and the ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) trends. Whether you are a buyer or seller, this comprehensive business tool will help you to make informed choices.
Updated to Q3 2018
Supply is expected to be stable in the third quarter compared to Q2. There are some planned turnarounds scheduled for the quarter, but as a result of the very weak demand situation, this is not likely to tighten the European market significantly.
Demand is expected to remain at a similar level in Q3 compared to the previous quarter. Because of the integration of the European market, there is typically little merchant activity. Overall commercial activity is expected to be relatively strong in July but fall in the August holiday period.
US supply of vinyl chloride is expected to remain steady to slightly loose during the third quarter as US chlor-alkali producers run hard to maximise strong margins for caustic soda. Vinyl chloride is a good outlet for extra chlorine production to make construction materials made of derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Most US VCM producers use most output internally to produce PVC.
Demand for US VCM is expected to remain firm through September, ahead of the fall plant maintenance period. That demand tracks the construction market activity and closely parallels demand for PVC. Firm domestic demand will limit spot export availability of VCM. Because most producers use VCM production internally to produce PVC, little spot business has been noted during the past two years.
Supply in the region may lengthen due to expansion of Asahimas VCM line in Indonesia. UPC’s unplanned shutdown in Taizhou, China may also lengthen VCM supply.
Limited spot availability from upstream EDC may see PVC producers turn to spot VCM shipments instead. Demand for VCM is largely expected to follow the positive market developments of PVC. Demand for key derivative PVC is expected to return in India after the monsoon season. Buying sentiment for PVC is also expected to improve in Malaysia and Indonesia returning from the long Ramadan holidays.
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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VCM production takes place in an integrated balanced process, comprising three units, direct chlorination, oxychlorination and ethylene dichloride (EDC) cracking.
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.