29 September 2000 16:44 [Source: ICIS news]
MONTE CARLO, Monaco (CNI)--Methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices were forecast on Friday to come under downward pressure over the next three-four years as plant capacity utilisation declines.
Bill Tollett of consultants Tecnon (UK) presented an analysis of the MMA market that showed capacity utilisation declining from the forecast 90.6% this year to a low of 80.5% in 2004. "Thereafter it claws its way back to 90.2% in 2008," Tollett predicted.
He told delegates at the Petchem 2000* conference here that MMA consumption is forecast to grow at slightly more than an average of 3.2% during 1998-2008, with capacity calculated to rise at just under 3% over the same period.
Existing world capacity of about 2.3m tonne/year is already running ahead of consumption of about 2.2m tonne. Planned new capacity is set to outpace consumption growth over the over the next three years, leading to the forecast slide in utilisation between 2000-2004.
However, Tollett concluded: "The MMA business is in flux. The fixed points in the firmament are no longer as fixed as they were. Costs, technology and markets are changing - and times of change are times of opportunity."
*Petchem 2000 is organised by Tecnon (UK), part of the Tecnon Consulting World Network.
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