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: Market overview
Updated to Q3 2018
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply in Asia could remain varied for Q3. Fresh volumes from the two new units in Saudi Arabia could provide some relief, but this could be countered by further planned turnarounds for different manufacturers in the quarter. Integrated producers may adjust plant rates depending on downstream performance.
Consumer demand for methyl methacrylate (MMA) in Asia is foreseen to be mixed in Q3. Most buyers would operate on a need-to basis, but some may increase their orders due to stronger seasonal demand. Additionally, buy-side sentiment could be swayed by the downstream declines in the polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) markets.
Supply in Europe should continue to ease in the third quarter, with production in Europe at a higher level amid the lifting of the Lucite International force majeure. However, there will be a maintenance stop for both Evonik and Arkema. There is also a potential for imports to be diverted away from Europe in September, amid a series of stoppages in the US.
Demand will remain at a reasonable level in Europe, although there may be some downstream stoppages in August for players in the south of the region.
US supply of methyl methacrylate (MMA) is likely to remain tight throughout the third quarter of 2018, as US producers Lucite and Evonik are currently on sales control. Lucite has a planned maintenance set for its 155,000 tonne/year plant in Beaumont, Texas in the fall.
Demand for US methyl methacrylate (MMA) is expected to remain strong throughout the third quarter of 2018, even as coatings season nears an end, supported by a strong US economy. Prices are at all-time highs but have not had a negative impact on demand.
News & analysis
Methyl methacrylate news & analysis
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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.