Price and market trends: US Sep MMA contracts settle flat

04 October 2013 15:39  [Source: ICB]

US methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract values settled flat for September on improved availability that balanced the market after supply constraints in August, market sources confirmed on 24 September.

Stable market conditions prevailed after a force majeure declaration by a major producer last month, yielding no September price-hike nominations and holding truck prices steady from August at $1.22-1.26/lb ($2,690-2,778/tonne, €1,991-2,056/tonne).

In August, MMA contracts were assessed up by an average of 2 cents/lb, although price-hike initiatives of 5-6 cents/lb were announced.

Buyers said supply is ample, and demand remains flat in architectural coatings, a major downstream market for MMA in the US.

However, an index of future US construction activity rose by 2.1% in August, indicating stronger economic conditions, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) said. The AIA’s Architectural Billings Index (ABI), a reflection of contracted architectural design services, increased to 53.8 for August from 52.7 in July.

The upturn signals an imminent turnaround in non-residential construction activity, the AIA said, although the strength of the architectural coatings market is typically linked to the construction of single-family homes.

Among feedstocks September barge acetone talks were well underway, but only one buy-side settlement was confirmed slightly lower so far, and US methanol spot barge prices inched higher.

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

By: Larry Terry
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