Europe MMA Q4 contract prices settle at a decrease

02 November 2012 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Fourth-quarter European methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices have settled at a decrease from the previous quarter, reflecting the length in the market, sources said on Friday.

The range has been assessed at €1,680-1,720/tonne ($2,182-2,234/tonne) on a free delivered (FD) northwest Europe (NWE) basis.

Contracts for the quarter have largely come down by €20-30/tonne, with some agreements falling by €40-70/tonne. Some accounts rolled over or increased, depending on starting point.

Downstream, European polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) contract prices are likely to rollover in the fourth quarter on lacklustre demand in a well-supplied market. PMMA demand in Europe is weak, particularly in southern Europe because consumer confidence has been sapped by eurozone debt concerns.

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

Demand has not been as healthy as players would have liked, leaving the PMMA market cautious amid economic instability. Inventories are being carefully managed.

MMA spot demand is slow, particularly from customers that traditionally buy volumes over and above their contractual commitments. “These customers are now cutting their volumes back and honouring their fixed contracts, which is putting pressure on the free market price,” a trader said.

The trader added demand may be further reduced towards the end of November when destocking begins in the run up to year-end holidays.

“As far as we see it there are not many spot suppliers on the market - which limits the price pressure - though we see offers below €1,600/tonne FD NWE, which is also coming from producers, either direct or indirect,” the trader said.

The spot price is at €1,570-1,630/tonne FD NWE.

Upstream, the November European acetone MMA contract price has been agreed at €910/tonne FD NWE, a decrease of €20/tonne from October on the back of a drop in feedstock propylene.

MMA is an organic compound. This colourless liquid is a monomer produced on a large scale for the production of PMMA.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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