US February MMA contracts expected to settle higher on acetone

08 February 2013 18:40  [Source: ICIS news]

US February MMA contracts expected to settle higher on acetoneHOUSTON (ICIS)--US February contracts for methyl methacrylate (MMA) are expected to increase, sources said on Friday.

Some buyers and sellers reported reaching settlements at increases of 8-10 cents/lb ($176-220/tonne, €132-165/tonne) from January settlements.

Producers had nominated increases of 6 cents/lb, 11 cents/lb and 12 cents/lb, largely on the back of a 13.5 cent/lb increase in key feedstock acetone.

“In previous months there was resistance to higher prices,” a buyer said. “This month those nominations are going through pretty smoothly.”

Sources expected the higher nominations to stick despite the presence of the lowest nomination.

“People are concerned about securing supply with acetone so tight,” another buyer said. “Greed will have its day again.”

Demand for MMA is also picking up as downstream users start to build inventories ahead of the US coatings season.

“MMA always gets tight in the second quarter,” a producer said.

The demand in coatings is expected to be enough to drive prices higher, even as demand from the plastics segment remains steady to slightly softer.

January MMA contracts were assessed by ICIS at $1.12-1.17/lb FD railcar (free delivered via railcar).

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

($1 = €0.75)

By: John Dietrich

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