US January MMA prices roll over on stable demand, ample supply

19 January 2012 17:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US January contract prices for methyl methacrylate (MMA) rolled over on stable demand and a quiet market, sources said on Thursday.

US contract prices remain at $1.10–1.20/lb ($2,425–2,646/tonne, €1,892–2,064/tonne) FD railcar (free delivery via railcar), as assessed by ICIS, flat with December levels.

Producers and buyers confirmed that prices rolled over in January, with some speculating that prices could also roll over in February.

“There is nothing happening to put pressure on prices moving up,” a buyer said. “Most of the demand at the moment is from customers restocking inventories.”

January orders have increased slightly over December, but market players are unsure about the reasons.

A major producer cautioned that it is too early to tell if the increase in orders is new demand or the restocking of inventories.

Sources said that the plastics market is stable, and that the coatings market remains in its seasonal slow period.

Supply of MMA remains ample, with several offers for spot material heard slightly above or below current contract levels.

The key feedstock for MMA, barge acetone, has not been settled, but a recent surge in spot prices for refinery-grade propylene (RGP) could lead to an increase in January prices.

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

($1 = €0.78)

For more on MMA visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: John Dietrich

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