Europe Q4 MMA confirmed up €60/t on acetone, healthy demand

23 October 2009 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The European methyl methacrylate (MMA) fourth-quarter contract price was settled up €60/tonne ($90/tonne) from the third quarter on higher acetone prices and healthy demand, buyers and sellers confirmed on Friday.

The fourth-quarter MMA pre-discounted contract was assessed at €1,340-1,395/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

“Our average quarter-four settlement was closer to €60/tonne, but we were still getting increases of €80-90/tonne and sometimes about €100/tonne,” confirmed a major producer. “Demand is still healthy and although there was talk about demand turning down towards that end of the year, we have not seen any evidence of this yet,” the producer added.

Another European producer said: “We were pushing for €130/tonne because of acetone and we were not able to pass this on. We have settled most contracts at an increase of €70/tonne.”

The producer source said that even with the increase, current MMA price levels were unsustainable because of rising methanol and acetone prices.

The producer added: “The MMA price will need to go up again even if raw materials decrease because we need to try and maintain prices.”

On the buying side, a range of settlements was reported, but on average €60/tonne was seen as representative of the fourth-quarter increase.

“We have settled our fourth-quarter contracts and the figure was not three digits,” confirmed a major MMA buyer in Europe. “I would say an increase of €70/tonne is our average increase,” she added.

A second large European buyer for the coatings sector said that its quarter-four contract price increased by an average of €50/tonne.

A third MMA consumer confirmed that its MMA price had increased by €60-70/tonne from the third to fourth quarter. The buyer said: “I have some [contracts] on a monthly basis and others fixed on a quarter. My increase for the quarter was around €70/tonne. I did not see any problems with availability and we saw some good activity in October."

Since the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Berlin in early October, MMA contract settlements have been recorded at increases ranging between €40-90/tonne.

Major European producers were originally targeting increases of €110-120/tonne for fourth-quarter MMA contracts.

In the MMA spot market, prices had remained stable in October moving into November. Distributors quoted spot MMA in a €1,270-1,320/tonne FD NWE range.

“We are satisfied with our demand. It’s not booming but we are satisfied and September prices are still valued for October in the upper €1,200s/tonne,” confirmed an active MMA distributor.

($1 = €0.67)

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By: Julia Meehan
+44 20 8652 3214

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