ICIS price reporting for regional Vinyl chloride monomer markets is unparalleled in its ability to keep you on top of the information you need.
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Updated to Q2 2018
Tosoh’s downstream polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Guangzhou reopened in end-May after being closed since early in the year for environmental checking, causing a slight excess of supply in the region. A northeast Asian vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) producer stopped production for 3 days following minor troubles at their plant, but supply was minimally affected.
Much of VCM capacity is integrated into downstream PVC production systems. VCM largely followed market developments of PVC, which was largely balanced in the region.
Supply remained stable in Q2. There were no major production outages in the European market in this quarter, although there was a long-running turnaround at one German plant, which reduced feedstock chlorine production in Europe. Spot availability remained adequate in Q2 because of the very limited demand and liquidity in the market. Chlorine capacity was closed in Europe in 2017, but because of higher utilisation rates, production has remained at similar levels.
Demand remained at the same level in Q2 compared to Q1. Spot demand is very low in Europe because the majority of capacity is integrated into polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production systems. With few production issues in the second quarter, there was little need for buyers to purchase VCM on the merchant market. VCM spot prices have trended upwards during this quarter as a result of higher upstream and downstream prices.
US supply of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) is expected to remain steady to slightly loose 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 during the second quarter was confined to internal use by US PVC producers as they built inventory. Second quarter demand began to show firm during May and June as producers prepared for firm demand from the US construction sector. Besides the usual increase in construction activity, the US has had extensive damage from hurricanes and wildfires which is being addressed during this years construction season.
We offer the following regional Vinyl chloride monomer coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the “Asia, Europe & US” 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.
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