Europe Q4 PMMA prices expected to roll over on weak demand

01 November 2012 12:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) contract prices in Europe are likely to rollover in the fourth quarter on lacklustre demand in a long market, sources said on Thursday.

PMMA demand in Europe is weak, particularly in southern Europe, because consumer confidence has been sapped by eurozone debt concerns.

“We have settled the majority of Q4 prices at a rollover,” a producer said.

Sellers said that the economy is affecting industrial production, adding that despite upstream cost pressure, it has been a challenge to pass on increases downstream where buying interest has dwindled.

One producer said there have been a few decreases in exceptional cases, depending on starting point, but these are not considered representative of the market.

Suppliers have been concerned about the impact of raw material costs on production margins this year, and had aimed to achieve hikes this quarter to recover costs. Producers had initially targeted price rises of €100/tonne for the fourth quarter.

Demand has not been as healthy as players would have liked. The market remains cautious amid economic instability, and inventories are being carefully managed.

Consumption levels are steady-to-soft, and most participants are likely to begin end-of-year destocking in the coming weeks.

Third-quarter PMMA contracts in Europe settled lower by €0.07-0.08/kg because of lower raw material costs and reduced demand.

Looking ahead to 2013, demand is expected to remain flat.

PMMA's primary use is in car headlamps and taillights. The second-largest use is in construction (pool and sanitary ware, architectural fittings), and glazing/signage.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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