30 January 2009 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--The European methyl methacrylate (MMA) first-quarter gross contract price was settled down €250/tonne ($325/tonne) from the fourth quarter on very poor downstream demand, buyers and sellers said on Friday.
The first-quarter MMA pre-discounted contract assessment was adjusted to €1,425-1,485/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (?xml:namespace>
“I have agreed my contracts, some on a monthly basis and others on a quarterly,” said one of the largest MMA buyers in
Other buyers in the European market agreed that the value of MMA had plummeted in the first quarter on the back of very weak demand and high inventories.
“We think a decrease of €275/tonne should be the number, but I can confirm a drop of €250/tonne, although I have also seen a reduction of €200/tonne,” said another large European MMA buyer. The buyer said that it was taking around 40% less volume in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2008.
Meanwhile, the largest European consumer of MMA disputed €1,425/tonne FD NWE as a representative contract price and said that €1,300/tonne FD NWE was “closer to the reality”. This buyer was purchasing considerably more volume than the majority of other European consumers, however.
European producers confirmed that the first quarter contract price had eroded as a result of poor downstream demand.
The global major confirmed that first quarter contracts had settled at reductions ranging between €150-250/tonne.
Moreover, the temporary shift from quarterly to monthly pricing by the propylene community resulted in a change in the format of the acetone contract, which had also moved from quarterly to monthly pricing. This in turn had filtered through to the MMA market.
“It has been a difficult quarter with some buyers wanting monthly pricing and others quarterly,” said a producer.
($1 = €0.77)
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