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.
Updated to Q3 2019
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply in Asia was reduced in the third quarter. There were initiatives from some producers to cut production on the back of unhealthy margins amid declining prices and oversupply. Some production issues and plant outages in the Middle East and in the region also tightened supply. Plant issues in the US resulted in some Asian supply being diverted to the West.
Demand was subdued in the third quarter. The cast sheets and coatings sectors provided some support, but the plastics sector was affected by the escalation of the US-China trade war. Buyers largely adopted a wait-and-see stance, given the uncertain market outlook and economic slowdown. Buyers kept lean inventories and only purchased on a need-to basis. New capacity in China impacted buying sentiment.
The European methyl methacrylate (MMA) market remained long throughout the third quarter, with prices falling month on month. Supply was loose, despite local maintenance, and lower operating rates, with imports from Asia and the Middle East still present.
Demand remained subdued in Europe, with consumption falling further in August, linked to European holidays. There was very limited pick-up in demand in September.
Supply of US methyl methacrylate (MMA) was steady but ample in the third quarter, despite prolonged production issues in the US. Buyers said the production disruptions seen in the third quarter did not greatly impact supply and they had no issues obtaining material.
US MMA demand was constant in the third quarter as the paints and coatings sector performed well while demand from the automobile sector weakened further. US MMA demand typically tracks the strength of the US economy, which has been facing headwinds.
We offer the following regional Methyl methacrylate analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Methyl methacrylate marketplace.
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Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is polymerised to form PMMA (also known as plexiglass), lubricant viscosity modifiers, emulsions, dispersions and coatings.
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.
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