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 Q1 2019
Spot supply in Asia in the first quarter of 2019 decreased amidst scheduled turnarounds for Japan and Indonesia. In addition, an Indonesian producer was not able to operate fully after a tsunami in end-December caused some production issues.
Much of VCM capacity is integrated into downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production systems. Slow demand for downstream PVC due to China’s sluggish economy and the upcoming elections in India meant that demand for VCM subsequently fell.
European vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) supply has been broadly stable in Q1 2019. There were few major production issues for VCM or its upstream products. There is little movement of VCM in Europe via imports with most transport being carried out by producers on a structural basis, with business also only rarely carried out on the spot market in the case of production issues.
European VCM demand was flat or slightly higher in Q1 and for the most part followed demand in the downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) market. The VCM spot market is structurally quiet because most capacity is integrated into downstream PVC production. Downstream demand was somewhat higher because of the stronger season for the related construction industry, as well as higher activity following the quiet December period.
Supply of US VCM tightened during the first quarter as demand for the derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC) was weak in global markets and US producers throttled back on VCM production. Supply of VCM is closely correlated to supply and demand of PVC. When PVC demand is in its peak season, the supply of the precursor grows, too. Tight VCM during the first quarter reduced exports. US producers have shipped little VCM into the spot market during the past two years.
Demand for vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) during the first quarter weakened on the soft demand for derivative polyvinyl chloride (PVC). VCM, almost all of which goes to the manufacture of PVC, is closely tied to the polymer, which is closely tied to construction activity. The first quarter in the US included severe winter weather which disrupted much business activity, including construction activity, and created logistics tangles.
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.