27 June 2005 08:59 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Planned turnarounds at methyl methacrylate (MMA) plants in Asia in the third quarter of this year are unlikely to bolster falling prices, industry sources said on Monday.
The sources said that regional prices were likely to remain under downward pressure due to weak demand and new Asian capacities emerging during the quarter.
Prices of MMA are currently at $1,790-1,850/tonne CFR Southeast Asia for cargoes of up to 500 tonne, down from an eight-year high of $2,000/tonne CFR Southeast Asia in mid-December 2004.
Industry sources said that weak demand from certain MMA-derivative sectors and inability of derivative pricing to keep pace with recent surges in MMA prices would continue to weigh down on market sentiment.
New capacities are also unlikely to boost prices. Lucite has begun production at its new 93,000 tonne/year unit in Caojing, China. Sumitomo Chemical will be starting commercial operation at its 80,000 tonne/year unit in Singapore in early August.
Producers and buyers said that imminent plant turnarounds would arrest price falls but they were unlikely to bolster prices.
Japan's Mitsubishi Rayon Co plans to hold a turnaround at its 50,000 tonne/year line in Hiroshima from 16 July to 23 August. Kuraray's 20,000 tonne/year line in Osaka has been shut since 20 June for a month-long maintenance, and Mitsui Chemicals' 20,000 tonne/year unit is similarly down during the same period. Sumitomo's existing 53,000 tonne/year unit in Singapore is also scheduled for a three-week turnaround from 1 July.
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