US MMA prices set to fall 3.8% in October on weaker feedstocks

07 October 2011 21:20  [Source: ICIS news]

LCD TVs are an end market for MMA HOUSTON (ICIS)--US October methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices appear set to fall by 3.8% from September, sources said on Friday.

Several buyers and one producer said they are seeing October MMA prices at $1.25–1.30/lb ($2,756–2,866/tonne, €2,039–2,121/tonne) FD railcar (free delivered via railcar) and $1.27–1.32/lb FD tank truck.

This would represent a fall of 5 cents/lb from September levels.

However, pending further confirmation, prices continue to be assessed by ICIS at $1.30–1.35/lb FD railcar and $1.32–1.37/lb FD tank truck.

The biggest factor pushing prices down was softer feedstock costs. Although the US October barge acetone contract has not been settled, further upstream the US October benzene contract fell by 68 cents/gal and the US October propylene contract fell by 14 cents/lb.

MMA demand is also softer, sources said, but mostly because of seasonal factors. A producer said that year-on-year demand is comparable or healthier for most markets.

Demand from the coatings market has taken its typical seasonal fall, sources said, and the acrylic sheet market has also softened slightly.

The LCD TV market continues to be the strongest sector for MMA demand.

The dip in MMA demand has also moved supply closer to balanced, but buyers said the market remains on the tighter side.

Major US MMA producers include Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on MMA visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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