Europe spot MMA up €150-200/tonne on availability, demand

11 February 2011 13:23  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European methyl methacrylate (MMA) spot prices have climbed €150-200/tonne ($203-270/tonne) from the previous level of €2,150-2,300/tonne to €2,300-2,500/tonne on limited availability, healthy demand and rising feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.

A buyer said it had bought volumes from a European producer at €2,300/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) and Russian material at €2,500/tonne FD NWE.

“Prices are high. Contract [volumes] can only provide so much, then I need spot. And that’s expensive,” the buyer said.

An importer said that almost all of the February Russian quantities had been sold to the Turkish market and there was now no availability for Europe. It added that there was now also no Brazilian spot available for February export.

Healthy global demand and tightness in Asia were contributing to the increased values. Forecasts of a strong coatings season from March and the increased costs of acetone and methanol were indicators that prices were likely to increase.

As a result of the limited availability, traders were looking for prices of €2,300-2,400/tonne FD NWE for February deliveries and expected prices to rise further as European temperatures increase and offtake from the construction industry firms.

“We have very limited uncommitted volume. With many enquiries we cannot fulfil and, given the situation in the market, we have no choice but to look for prices of €2,300/tonne FD NWE and above,” a trader said.

“The spring season has not even started yet,” the trader added.

First-quarter European MMA contract prices moved up €50-75/tonne because of increased raw material costs, and were within the range €1,860-2,000/tonne FD NWE.

MMA is polymerised to form polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), lubricant viscosity modifiers, emulsions and coatings.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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