Europe PMMA Q4 contracts rise on tight supply, ongoing demand

12 November 2010 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European fourth-quarter polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) contract price has risen because of continued restricted availability and strong demand, market sources said on Friday.

“People haven’t been comfortable with the price increases but they recognise how tight the market is,” a major producer said.

Asian buying interest has been driving the market since the first quarter and strong demand from the region was not showing any signs of easing.

“Demand continues to be so strong from Asia and material which is being sent to Asia is keeping the market tight here,” the producer said. “The forecast for expected demand and growth in the sector is very strong.”

The fourth-quarter PMMA contract settled at €2.98-3.13/kg ($4.08-4.29/tonne), up €0.12/kg from the third quarter.

Contracts were agreed on a FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) basis.

Feedstock methyl methacrylate (MMA) fourth-quarter contracts were settled up €130-150/tonne in October, owing to ongoing tight supply and robust demand.

The MMA contract price settled at €1,860-1,935/tonne FD NWE.

Regarding availability, a distributor said: “We’re getting enough but it’s a constant battle.”

A consumer said: “In the last year, PMMA [availability] decreased while demand increased. A year ago it was the opposite and it won’t change for a long time.”

Negotiations for the first quarter of 2011 were now under way and there could be increases of up to €150/tonne FD NWE, sources said.

Growth in the sector is expected to be very strong over the next five years.

PMMA is the most important application for MMA. Once cast or moulded it is clear, hard, UV transparent and resistant to gamma rays. It is used in the automotive industry and the building and lighting industry, as well as for various applications including CD production and in toys, pens, furniture and electronics.

($1 = €0.73)

For more on PMMA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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