Demand subdued in Italian PMMA sector - distributor

16 May 2013 17:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Demand for polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) in Italy is flat and consumption levels are lower than they were at the same time last year, an Italy-based distributor said on Thursday.

“In Italy, the demand is not growing and is, in general, lower than it was last year for all the sectors which PMMA is sold into. There is less consumption than in May 2012 and in the second quarter last year.” It added that a poor economic climate and a lack of credit at Italian companies is creating barriers for customers that would like to purchase material.

“We have a big wall because maybe customers need material but there is no credit line,” it said.

The distributor said that all countries in Europe are now probably feeling the effects of the weak economy and poor demand.

“So demand sure is not growing and if we see the same trend we saw in 2012, we will see lower demand in the second half of the year. The end of the year won't be satisfactory.”

The second half of the year usually plays out this way, it added. “In July and August, most of the countries stop for at least two weeks. In December, there are also holidays.”

Buying interest for PMMA is usually at its highest from January to May, the source said. “And so far this year it's been steady, but at a low level.”

The distributor is concerned demand might not improve in the summer and that prices will fall in the third quarter.

“We will close the year below expectations if demand doesn't pick up. Volumes from Asia are coming in and we see much more aggressive competition from them. I think prices will go down in Q3, because there is much more offer than demand.”

The distributor valued PMMA in Italy at €2.00-2.30/kg ($2.56-2.95/kg) FD (free delivered).

Second-quarter PMMA contracts rose by €0.05/kg at the low end, on cost recovery.

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 = €0.78)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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