05 April 2012 20:37 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US April methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices are expected to move higher, tracking more expensive feedstocks and improving demand, sources said on Thursday.
US producers Evonik (5 cents/lb), Lucite (9 cents/lb) and Dow Chemical (10 cents/lb) have price-increase nominations on MMA effective 1 April, or as contracts allow.
Combined with nominations in March, producers are looking to push US MMA contract prices higher by 18-21 cents/lb ($397-463/tonne, €302-352/tonne) from February.
In March, buyers exhibited a strong amount of pushback, but resistance for the April increases has dipped on improved downstream demand.
Sources said several major paints and coatings companies are reporting March and April sales 5-10% higher year on year, aided by warmer weather.
“Right now, our business is doing very well, and we don’t feel we’ve reached the traditional coatings season,” a buyer said.
However, several other buyers are arguing that the surge in March and April demand reflect an earlier-than-normal start to the coatings season, and that the traditional back end will see lower-than-normal sales as a result.
“It’s too early to tell, but my experience is that unless the construction sector truly comes back, there’s no reason for there to be this much new demand,” a buyer said.
($1 = €0.76)
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