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.
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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 Q3 2016
Third-quarter methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices in the European market are expected to settle at an increase. The mixture of firmer feedstock prices, a tightening in supply and a sustained robust level of demand are adding to the upward pressure in the market. The lower level of imports and low inventories for European producers has resulted in supply being snug. Given an upcoming maintenance stop in Europe, a number of players said there is potential for supply to be squeezed further as Q3 progresses. Demand remains at a robust level both from plastics and the coatings sector.
In Asia, spot prices of MMA are expected to take a stable-to-firm trend during the third quarter of the year, supported by spot supply limitations outweighing consumer demand in southeast Asia. Market sentiment as a whole was bolstered by scheduled regional plant turnarounds taking place in the third quarter, which will further rein in supply availability.
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices are expected to increase due to higher feedstock barge acetone costs and stronger paints and coatings demand during the peak season. Demand in this sector has been stronger than the previous year so far.
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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.