Europe Q2 PMMA contract settles up on firm feedstock costs

20 April 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) second-quarter contracts increased by €0.08-0.09/kg from the previous quarter on firm feedstock costs and the need to recover lost margins, sources said on Friday.

Contracts settled at €3.17-3.18/kg ($4.17-4.18/kg) on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

Some contracts moved up by less than €0.08/kg, while increases of up to €0.13/kg were heard. Producers were targeting €0.12-0.15/kg hikes, after third and fourth quarter 2011 PMMA prices fell on good availability and softening demand.

“We have now almost ended our Q2 price negotiations with an increase of €0.80-0.13/kg, depending on what the starting point was,” one producer said.

Another producer said: “The increases that have been passed are absolutely feedstock-driven, and there is a need to recoup margins.”

Feedstock methyl methacrylate (MMA) second-quarter contracts are so far settling with increases of up to €160/tonne, because of high raw material costs, namely acetone, propylene and methanol.

Demand has picked up versus levels seen in the fourth and first quarters, but is still below 2011 demand during the same period. Availability is good and the market is balanced, buyers and sellers said.

Nearly all MMA is polymerised to make homopolymers and copolymers, with the largest application being the casting, moulding or extrusion of PMMA or modified polymers. PMMA is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a light or shatter-resistant alternative to glass.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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