VAM prices went down due to oversupply in the market
The European VAM market has reversed some of its March gains as the availability of material remained for the time being better than expected, and consumers could negotiate better prices. The spot market was assessed at Eur970/mt FD NWE, down Eur18/mt. “Supply is not really tight. If I try to increase prices, I hear from my customers that others also have material, and they come with a counter-offer,” a supplier said. The same trader, however, said the maintenance cycle starting in to get into full swing in the Far East will have a knock-on impact on Europe in two or three weeks. “Big shutdowns are just starting now. VAM stocks at producers’ tanks will be very low. Spot availability will be very low. May will be a strong month and we will see prices at Eur1,000/mt soon,” another trader said. A third source said suppliers were able to obtain increases in a Eur20-60/mt range, depending where previous individual absolute price levels have been. “Supply is tight, but additional volume is still available in the short term, although not with all suppliers,” he said. The European acetic market edged lower this week on a continuing decline in feedstock methanol prices and a small decrease in Asia. Spot AA was assessed at Eur590/mt FD NWE, down Eur5/mt. Asian prices dipped $5-$10/mt to$450/mt CFR Far East Asia and $395/mt FOB China. Upstream, methanol spot value dipped Eur18/mt on the week to Eur319/mt FOB Rotterdam. Month-on-month, however, prices were still higher as vam prices. “Regarding increases [in April], the initial target was plus Eur50/mt. Reality somehow is betweenEur25-40/mt. Demand is healthy. Supply seems to be limited already,” a trader said. Other sources said there was little price dynamics in the AA market, and the outlook “was not clear enough”. Serbia methanol and acetic acid producer Metanolsko-sircetni kompleks JSC Kik inda is currently undergoing a privatization process. The country’s Ministry of Economy called for potential investors to submit letters of interest by May 3, stipulating proposed indicative price, investment program, provisional business plan and number of staff the investor is ready to employ permanently. 71.86% in MSK Kik inda is owned by PE Srbijagas, the country’s natural gas transportation and distribution company. The Republic of Serbia owns 24.8% stake in MSKKikinda.
RATIONALE:CSG assessed VAM spot prices down Eur18/mt at Eur970/mt at the most repeatable levels pegged by sources. The overall vam range of prices was heard varying from Eur935/mt on the lower end to high Eur900s/mt at the top end. AA prices edged down Eur5/mt to Eur590/mt on weaker methanol pricing and a $5-10/mt drop in Asian prices.