03 August 2012 19:55 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US August contract price for methyl methacrylate (MMA) is expected to settle at a rollover, sources said on Friday.
Buyers and sellers said they expect US August MMA contract prices to remain stable within the ICIS-assessed range of $1.11-1.17/lb ($2,447-2,579/tonne, €2,007-2,115/tonne) FD (free delivered) railcar.
Sources attributed the rollover to the contract settlement for key feedstock barge acetone, which gained only 0.5 cent/lb in July from June.
Typically, the previous month’s barge acetone contract price is used to settle the current-month MMA price.
“Our formula would say prices should pretty well be a rollover,” a buyer said. “Demand is not super strong either.”
Most sources said demand for MMA from the coatings market remains strong, with some hope that cooler temperatures in late August and early September will lead to a last surge in home painting.
However, another buyer added that it is seeing higher-than-normal inventory levels of MMA, and said most other buyers are waiting on prices to come down before returning to full-on buy mode.
A producer disagreed, saying the cooler weather and a boost in home remodelling activity should keep order levels strong for the third quarter of the year.
MMA supply is described by most sources as balanced, with little spot material available but even less demand for it.
Major US MMA producers include Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.
($1 = €0.82)
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