The Methyl methacrylate (MMA) market is covered by our network of ICIS reporters based locally in Asia, Europe and the US on a weekly basis. Our universally trusted, unbiased price assessments cover spot in Asia, contract and spot in Europe and contract in the US.
Market commentary includes regional updates, upstream news, graphs, economic impacts and outlooks where applicable. This reliable news and analysis will help give you the tools needed to make informed business decisions.
Methyl methacrylate overview Transcript
Methyl methacrylate also known as MMA is a versatile chemical with applications in many industries from autoelectronics to the automotive sector. MMA can be used to produce polymethyl methacrylate or PMMA, and acrylate resins for coatings and emulsions. Asia currently dominates the world’s MMA production, this region also represents the fastest growing market for MMA.
Use in new electronic applications such as liquid crystal display televisions backlit by light emitting diodes (LED) has significantly expanded and is expected to be a major growth driver for the MMA market in the next couple of years.
Since global supplies are short several producers are expanding capacities and adding new plants. The Asian market largely trades on a spot basis but some bulk cargoes are sold on a spot-related contract formula. MMA prices are driven by supply and demand and feedstock prices like butane, methanol, acrylonitrile and acetone.
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Methyl methacrylate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices are expected to increase in Q4 due to higher feedstock costs. Although feedstock costs will normalise later in the quarter, some overhang will likely remain. Demand is expected to decline in the paints and coatings sector, but demand from non-cyclical sectors such as PMMA and adhesives will remain. Meanwhile, Q4 will start off with somewhat tight supply.
In Europe, Q4 MMA contract negotiations are ongoing, with prices largely expected to increase. However, he large gap between buyers and sellers expectations makes it unclear to what extent prices will increase. Demand remains robust, but demand from the coatings sector is expected to soften in November. While supply remains tight, this could improve slightly with production running well.
In Asia spot markets, MMA prices are expected to keep to a stable-to-firm trend in Q4, against a backdrop of persistent supply tightness and steady consumer demand in southeast Asia. Steady downstream PMMA demand could also provide market support in the near term.
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Methyl Methacrylate Methodology
About Methyl methacrylate
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is a colourless, volatile, flammable liquid with an ester-like odour. It is slightly soluble in water but soluble in most organic solvents. It is readily polymerised by light, heat, ionising radiation and catalysts. Commercial products may contain hydroquinone methyl ether or similar polymerisation inhibitors.
Nearly all MMA is polymerised to make homopolymers and copolymers, the largest application being the casting, moulding or extrusion of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or modified polymers.
A major application of MMA polymers and copolymers is in surface coatings and impregnation resins to give colour fastness and weather-resistance properties to latex paints, lacquer resins and stoving enamels. For example, exterior latex paint is based on emulsions containing MMA while other uses include industrial finishes, and metal and foil coatings.