US MMA producers seeking increases for December contracts

04 December 2012 20:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US methyl methacrylate (MMA) producers are seeking price increases for December, but buyers said on Tuesday that there is little momentum for this.

Dow Chemical has announced a 3 cent/lb ($66/tonne, €51/tonne) price increase for December, while Lucite has nominated a 5 cent/lb price increase.

Sources said Evonik has announced a 4 cent/lb increase, but this could not be confirmed.

Buyers said there is likely to be a slight increase in December, but only as much as feedstock costs have moved.

“Wherever it can be justified from an index standpoint it will stick,” a buyer said. “But the producers won’t get everything they want.”

Buyers said most of the reason for their resistance stems from long supply in the market and waning demand.

“It’s the same thing every year,” another buyer said. “Producers look to raise prices in December when no one is buying.”

The waning demand is a combination of year-end inventory draw downs, a slowdown in the coatings sector and weaker-than-expected sales in the plastics market.

One producer was more optimistic about the nominations, saying it has passed along the full measure to several customers in early negotiations.

Some buyers conceded that prices are likely to move higher but said nominations will have more momentum at the start of 2013 once year-end taxes are assessed.

There is also some optimism that construction activity will be strong in the first quarter of 2013.

Currently, US November MMA contracts are assessed by ICIS at $1.105-1.155/lb on an FD railcar (free delivery via railcar) basis.

($1 = €0.77)

By: John Dietrich

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