Europe PMMA producers target Q2 hikes on feedstock MMA costs

28 February 2012 18:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--A second major polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) producer said on Tuesday it would be targeting price increases in the second quarter because of expected price hikes in the upstream methyl methacrylate (MMA) industry.

This follows news last week that another producer intends to target increases based on firming feedstock costs, margin recovery, and improving demand.

“We’re looking to pass on increases [in the second quarter],” the first producer said. “Raw material costs are moving up, and we need to recover some margins. Increases should be in line with MMA.”

The second PMMA producer said: “There will be a price increase for the second quarter due to the price increase of monomer. We do not yet know the magnitude, but we should know by around 15 March.”

Producers in the upstream European MMA market are targeting March price hikes based on rising raw material costs, firming US and Asian prices, and improved demand.

One MMA producer said it would be aiming for €50/tonne ($67/tonne) increases, at a minimum, while another said it will be targeting hikes of around €80-100/tonne for March contracts.

There are also indications that April prices will settle at an increase, and second-quarter MMA contracts are expected to rise.

Another major MMA producer said targeted increases are certain, but the magnitude of the proposed hikes will not be clear until the March acetone MMA contract settles.

Further upstream, the European propylene contract price for March has been fully confirmed at an increase of €90/tonne at €1,195/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

Clearer pricing targets for MMA and the derivative PMMA sector are expected in the next few weeks.

PMMA demand has improved versus fourth-quarter levels, and the market is balanced. However, offtake is far below the strong levels seen in the first half of 2011.

First-quarter PMMA contracts fell by €0.06-0.09/kg from the previous quarter, because of weak demand and downward price pressure from imported material.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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