US November MMA contracts increase on higher feedstocks

09 November 2012 22:36  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US November contracts for methyl methacrylate (MMA) moved higher on Friday, tracking increased feedstock costs.

The November US MMA contract was assessed by ICIS at $1.105-1.155/lb ($2,436-2,546/tonne, €1,900-1,986/tonne) FD (free delivered) railcar.

October MMA contracts were assessed at $1.075-1.125/lb FD railcar.

Sources said that the November increase was almost entirely caused by feedstock October barge acetone contracts gaining 3 cents/lb.

“Anyone asking for more than 3 cents/lb is getting greedy,” a buyer said. “Any increase needs to be purely feedstock-based.”

Most buyers agreed, with some reporting that their prices had not increased in November.

“Demand is poor and plenty of material is available,” another buyer said.

A producer said most of its November contracts gained 2.5-3.0 cents/lb, all on feedstocks.

“Seasonal effects are in play right now,” the producer said. “Everyone is watching their working capital.”

The producer added that it expects demand will pick up at the start of 2013, once year-end tax concerns are past and reconstruction starts in earnest in the region hit by Hurricane Sandy.

However, buyers said they are being cautious about their expectations for any post-Sandy surge in demand.

“There’s probably enough inventory to handle a lot of that potential construction,” an MMA buyer said. “And even if it’s strong, supply is long enough to handle it.”

Major US MMA producers include Arkema, Dow Chemical, Evonik and Lucite.

($1 = €0.78)

By: John Dietrich

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