FocusChina's MMA prices to fall further on weak demand, oversupply

22 November 2011 04:59  [Source: ICIS news]

By Monica Cai

China’s domestic MMA prices may fall further in the coming monthsSINGAPORE (ICIS)--China’s domestic methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices may decline further in the coming months after falling to a new low this year on 21 November because of weak demand and oversupply, industry sources said late on Monday.

Prices in east China have fallen by yuan (CNY) 1,800-2,100/tonne ($283-330/tonne) ex-tank to CNY14,900-15,800/tonne ex-tank on 21 November from late October, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

In south China, prices fell by CNY1,600-1,000/tonne DEL (delivered) to CNY15,900-17,300/tonne DEL on 21 November from late October, the data showed.

MMA prices in China are under downward pressure because of the impact of bulk imports into the country, especially from Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, according to local and regional producers, traders and end-users.

“MMA imports are likely to be over 10,000 tonnes every month,’’ said a northeast Asian producer.

Producers in these regions are holding high inventories because of low demand from their domestic markets and are keen to export their product to China to ease their mounting inventories, said domestic producers and traders.

On a CFR China basis, discussions for import prices were heard at $1,900-2,000/tonne (€1,406-1,480/tonne) on 21 November.

Another factor contributing to the decline in MMA prices is the softening of other related acrylate monomer prices.

Butyl acrylate (butyl-A) prices fell by around CNY1,200/tonne last week, according to Chemease data.

MMA and butyl-A are used to make emulsions for the construction and automotive industries.

Emulsion demand has weakened because of slower growth in the construction sector and sluggish automotive sales, said industry players.

“The imports of MMA to China are really depressing local prices,” a Chinese buyer said.

Hence, many buyers are adopting a cautious stance and buying on a need-to basis, traders said.

($1 = CNY6.37)   
($1 = €0.74)          

Additional reporting by Junie Lin

For more information on MMA, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
For more pricing intelligence, visit ICIS pricing

By: Monica Cai

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