Europe Q4 polymethyl methacrylate contract prices soften

18 October 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Fourth-quarter European polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) contract prices have fallen from the previous quarter, amid soft demand in a long market, sources said on Friday.

Contracts for standard grade material into the extruded sheet sector settled at €2.00-2.10/kg ($2.70-2.83/kg) FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

“There were a few small decreases, but the majority rolled over, despite some announcements for increases on the monomer side,” a producer said. “The market is long.”

Another producer said: “We finalised our Q4 [fourth-quarter] PMMA resins prices with a rollover in most cases, even if the intention was to increase prices here and there to recover some margin.”

It had explained previously that the Asian market is oversupplied, adding: “The market is not dynamic. So, it’s difficult to push for a strong price increase. Overall, demand is down a bit compared to last year. I don’t see it changing much for the rest of the year."

There is some concern among sellers that low-cost imports might add downward pressure on the market in the first quarter of 2014, as they remain keen to improve margins.

“We will see what will happen in Q1 [first-quarter 2014], but the upward price trend will definitely be in our minds,” the second PMMA producer said.

Upstream, Europe September methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices rolled over from the previous month. October and fourth-quarter contract negotiations are ongoing as buyer and seller targets are far apart.

PMMA is an acrylic polymer that has high ultraviolet (UV) resistance and is available as resin or sheet. About two-thirds of consumption is in sheets produced by extrusion or casting, while the remainder is moulded into various shapes.

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 and signage.

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($1 = €0.74)

By: Helena Strathearn
+44 208 652 3214

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