03 February 2011 19:28 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Lucite said on Thursday it has restarted production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) at its Beaumont facility in Texas.
The plant was idled in December 2008, when demand slowed during the global economic recession.
MMA demand improved well above supplier expectations in late 2009. Sellers have attributed the demand surge to restocking and growth in the downstream flat-panel screen and paint markets.
A series of unplanned production issues in early 2010 also affected the market when buyers were restocking. Sellers have remained on strict allocations since then.
January MMA contracts were in the $1.16–1.20/lb range ($2,557–2,646/tonne, €1,841–1,905/tonne), up about 6% from December. Prices have been on a steady surge for over a year. January 2010 values were 85.50–91.50 cents/lb.
Lucite said it would produce MMA at a reduced rate throughout 2011 and reach full capacity in early 2012, following the completion of new plant construction.
The company did not disclose capacity details. ICIS plants and projects last estimated the plant's capacity at 155,000 tonnes/year.
($1 = €0.72)
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