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Updated to Q4 2016
European Q4 polymethyl methyacrylate (PMMA) contracts settled at an increase, on the back of tight upstream supply and robust demand. The main driver of the increase was firming raw material prices for upstream methyl methacrylate (MMA), with supply very tight. This resulted in concern from PMMA producers about having enough MMA to meet PMMA demand. Lucite International implemented sales control on European MMA in mid-October, which also limited available material for PMMA production. Supply overall is snug in the PMMA market, with distributors saying lead times from suppliers are lengthening. With Asian material priced above European, this resulted in less imported material coming into Europe. Given the tight MMA situation in Asia, less product is being polymerised, which will also limit the amount of available material for export. Demand was robust for much of the quarter, with December looking stronger partially because of Christmas day falling on the weekend. Traditionally demand softens in December, with players looking to reduce inventories before the end of the year. This is causing concern for producers that traditionally build stock during the quieter month. At this stage, producers said operating rates are expected to remain at a higher level throughout December because of this.
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ICIS price assessments are based on information gathered from a wide cross-section of the market, comprising consumers, producers, traders and distributors from more than 250 reporters world-wide. Confirmed deals, verified by both buyer and seller, provide the foundation of our price assessments.
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