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 Q2 2021
Q2 supply in Asia generally improved, despite several regional producers’ turnarounds in the quarter. While much of VCM is integrated into the production of main derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC), market participants noted slightly improved supply in Q2 as demand for PVC cooled down in Q2. Nevertheless, operating rates at most integrated producers in Asia generally remained high due to favourable margins for both PVC and caustic soda.
Demand for VCM in Asia fell during Q2, as downstream PVC makers procured less volumes from the spot markets due to faltering demand for suspension-grade PVC across much of Asia. With global inventories of end-product vinyl gloves approaching saturation, VCM demand from specialty emulsion-grade PVC producers from China also fell as a result. On the other hand, VCM import demand from suspension-grade PVC makers in China improved in late Q2 amid sustained local consumption.
VCM supply fell on the back of production issues at two Vynova plants in Q2. This restricted output in the region, although no significant impact was noted for downstream PVC production. Trade was limited because the high cost to transport VCM makes it difficult to deliver economically overseas.
VCM spot demand remained relatively low in Q2. Most capacity is integrated into PVC production systems, meaning there is limited appetite for merchant business. Underlying demand for downstream products was strong on the back of high global prices for PVC combined with a rebounding construction industry, with export demand for product also very high following a number of worldwide production issues.
US supply of VCM showed growth in Q2 only because of the sharp decrease in Q1 as a result of the February freeze in Texas and Louisiana that disrupted more than 70% of US manufacturing capacity. Production levels slowly recovered during Q2. The quarter ended with lingering technical issues at more than one major US plant.
While supply was at a historic low level, demand continued strong for US VCM to make derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC) – also in short supply – but with strong demand and record values as a result of the imbalance. The demand surge was the result of construction activity and the demand for US VCM to make PVC for the manufacture of construction materials. Economic stimulus, low interest rates and lifestyle changes drove the demand surge.
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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.
MUMBAI (ICIS)--India has terminated its safeguard investigation into imports of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) suspension grade resins from Japan upon request of domestic players. Domestic producers DCW...Read