Price and market trends: US VAM contracts slip 1 cent/lb

21 April 2014 00:00 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

US vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) Q1 contracts fell by 1 cent/lb on declining feedstock prices, sources said on 8 April.

The decrease brought the Q1 contract price to 56-61 cents/lb ($1,235-1,345/tonne) from 57-62 cents/lb.

VAM FOB (free on board) export prices, which have soared in the past month on supply issues in Europe and the US, remained unchanged at $1,600-1,800/tonne.US VAM

But VAM contracts dipped slightly because of their link to formulas based on ethylene and methanol spot prices.

Most producers said that contracts would not change significantly. Some buyers received slight declines, while others got rollovers.

Although US March ethylene contracts appear headed towards a two-month settlement, buyers last week confirmed that the contract will drop by 4.0-4.25 cents/lb from February. And methanol, a raw material for VAM feedstock acetic acid, has come off five-year highs in the past month.

Methanol spot barge prices are down 7% so far this year, and US April contracts dropped about 6% from March postings.

VAM quarterly contracts historically have settled at the end of the period, following settlement of the latest ethylene monthly contract.

US ethylene contracts usually settle at the start of the month for the previous month.

By Lane Kelley