22 October 2010 19:56 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European methyl methacrylate (MMA) spot prices dropped by €200-500/tonne ($278-694/tonne) as a result of slightly improved import availability and lower priced offers, market sources said on Friday.
Spot was now discussed at €2,300-2,500/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), back down to levels last seen in July.
The previously reported prices of €3,000/tonne were now seen as far above the current levels in the market.
A trader said, “[The price of] spot is definitely going down. Deals of €3,000/tonne may still be being done but only for very desperate buyers and for sellers who want to take advantage of the situation. I certainly don’t think people are actually buying at this number anymore.”
While European producers were not able to offer additional material, traders said Russian and Brazilian material was available at prices higher than contract. Owing to the robust demand in the region, Asian material was not coming through.
The trader added, “the Brazilians are offering [material] at lower numbers and there is, for sure, more material available on the market now.”
The spot range gradually increased through August and then rose a further €200/tonne in early October following a number of offers heard at €3,000/tonne FD NWE. However, with little material available for trade on the free market and few buyers willing to accept such prices, deals done at levels so high were limited.
Despite the drop in spot pricing, MMA demand remains incredibly healthy and should remain so for the foreseeable future.
“It’s phenomenal. I can’t believe how strong it is,” a major supplier said. “Customers are talking about working deeper into quarter four and some are making plans to work over Christmas.”
Fourth-quarter contract prices moved up €130-150/tonne last week to a pre-discounted contract price of €1,860-1,935/tonne FD NWE following another quarter of extremely limited availability and strong demand.
MMA is polymerised to form PMMA, lubricant viscosity modifiers, emulsions, dispersions and coatings. MMA can partially replace styrene in unsaturated polyester resins to improve weather resistance and to extend life.
($1 = €0.72)
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