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 Q4 2018
Supply in the first quarter of 2019 could be tighter on turnarounds by producers in Japan and Indonesia. These turnarounds are taking place from January to February. Increased safety concerns in China are likely to continue affecting production rates. This could result in tighter domestic supply from the country.
Demand for VCM is generally expected to follow an anticipated recovery for PVC in the first quarter of 2019, especially in India, a major export market for northeast Asian producers. There could be more spot demand from PVC producers in China amid tightened domestic supply of VCM supply caused by increased safety concerns. Several downstream PVC expansions are also expected to come online in 2019, which could spur more demand for VCM.
European VCM supply is expected to somewhat increase in the first quarter. The production and supply situation in NWE is expected to improve due to upstream chlorine plants that suffered issues in the fourth quarter being described as ramping up in late 2018. However, recent Eurochlor figures show lower upstream chlorine production, which may temper this outlook.
European VCM demand might broadly be expected to rise in the first quarter due to players returning to the market following the quiet situation around the Christmas holidays. Structural demand for VCM is low in the European market because the majority of capacity is integrated into PVC production, with little spot demand expected.
Supply of US VCM is likely to grow during first quarter 2019 as US VCM/PVC producers ramp up production to meet seasonal demand growth for PVC as construction season approaches. Market participants don’t anticipate an increase in merchant VCM availability, though.
Demand for VCM will grow through the quarter as the PVC industry ramps up to meet the seasonal demand spurt for PVC construction materials ahead of the peak summer construction season. Processors and manufacturers of PVC products buy resin in the first quarter to process and to make into salable products ahead of the April-May arrival of construction ramp-up.
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.