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 Q2 2016
In Asia, spot prices of methyl methacrylate (MMA) are expected to hold stable moving into the second quarter of 2016, amid prices perceived by the market as having reached their bottom in the preceding quarter. Market sentiment drew support from recent modest gains in Chinese domestic prices, while regional scheduled plant turnarounds are expected to curtail production and keep spot cargo availability in check.
European methyl methacrylate (MMA) price decreases appear to have come to an end, and the outlook for the second quarter is firmer. The length that was previously seen is no longer as abundant, and demand is expected to pick up. One producer is targeting Q2 price increases, with initial buyer feedback indicating that marginal hikes are possible.
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices look to follow feedstock barge acetone higher, as demand from paints and coatings applications has been much stronger year on year.
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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.