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 Q1 2017
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices are expected to face upward pressure in the first quarter of 2017 due to rising feedstock costs and tightening supply. Supply will be constrained due to ongoing sales controls and production issues, along with upcoming turnarounds. Demand is expected to remain slow in the paints and coatings sector, but there will be some demand from non-cyclical sectors such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and adhesives.
In Europe, contract negotiations for January and the first quarter are ongoing and thus far producers have been heard targeting for increases of €100-200/tonne for both. Negotiations have been difficult in some cases, with expectations from buyers ranging from increases in the mid-double digits up to triple digits for both. Tight supply continues to be the driver of the upward price pressure, given a lack of imports amid robust overall demand - especially from high downstream plastics consumption.
In Asia, MMA prices are expected to be stable-to-firm in the first quarter, supported by persistently tight spot availability. As various regional plants have scheduled turnarounds within the quarter, the ongoing supply constraints are not likely to ease soon. Additional pricing support is expected from healthy demand in the region, especially from the downstream PMMA and emulsion sectors in South Korea and India.
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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.