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 2019
Despite scheduled vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) turnarounds in the region, spot supply in Asia in the second quarter of 2019 remained adequate, as downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) expansions which were slated to begin production in China and the Philippines within the quarter were delayed to end-June or July instead.
Demand in Asia remained largely constant, mainly following derivative PVC market trends. However, in the later half of the second quarter, PVC sentiment turned bearish amid signs of a slowing Chinese economy. This resulted in sluggish demand for VCM spot imports in China.
European vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) availability in the second quarter was lower as a result of planned and unplanned shutdowns in the market. A number of turnarounds in related markets occurred from April to June. In June, INOVYN also suffered a production disruption at Rafnes, Norway, which reduced its output of VCM and affected downstream production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the UK and Nordic countries.
European VCM demand was stable with the spot market seeing little liquidity. The European VCM spot market is structurally quiet with the majority of capacity integrated into downstream PVC production systems. The PVC market was balanced in the second quarter with prices moving in line with feedstock trends, and no significant changes in capacity in Europe.
Almost all US production of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is polymerised to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), hence slower demand and production of PVC during the first and second quarters saw the same situation for the monomer. A long and severe winter slowed the start of construction season by almost two months, to near the end of the second quarter when it started to revive. Most VCM is consumed internally by back-integrated PVC producers.
Demand for VCM to make PVC was down during the second quarter compared to the second quarter of 2018, by an estimated 3.5%, as a result of the late start to the construction season and a delay in the surge of uptake that comes ahead of peak construction activity. Almost all US VCM are for manufacturing PVC, so a decline in demand for PVC prompts a commensurate decline in demand for VCM.
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.