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 Q4 2020
Spot supply of methyl methacrylate was tight owing to heavy turnarounds and plant issues in the region. Even though some plants had restarted from turnarounds, inventories remained low. Suppliers could barely cover contractual volumes in some situation. Certain downstream production was heard to have reduced as buyers could not secure enough MMA. Congestions at ports and limited isotank vessel availability added to supply constraints.
Demand from downstream resins like polymethyl methyacrylate (PMMA) and transparent acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (T-ABS) was healthy amid end-use application recovery. In particular, the automotive sector showed improvement while demand from the home appliances and display screens sectors was firm. The cast sheets sector was largely stable with demand in line with expectations for the end of year. The paints and emulsions sector saw improvement in Q4 in southeast Asia, while India’s demand remained healthy.
The European shutdown season extended into November due to a delayed restart at production facility. However, regional production has now returned to normal with no issues. Globally, the market is firm so imports into the region are limited, while shipping has been disrupted.
Demand has increased, in particular the automotive sector which has seen a high end of year demand. This has been driven by restocking and higher operating rates. Demand across the board has been high.
Supply was snug due to turnaround activity, stronger demand and reduced operating rates amid raw material constraints. A supplier’s order control on methacrylates remained in effect, while lead times were extended. Imports were challenged by tight overseas markets and low availability of shipping vessels out of Asia. Arkema plans to divest its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business to Trinseo for €1.14bn. The deal is expected to be finalised in mid-2021.
Positive momentum in the auto and construction sectors carried over into Q4. The auto sector is not likely to boom in the near future though, with analysts suggesting a sharp recovery is some way off. The housing market was robust due to pent-up demand and low interest rates. There was an uptick in housing construction and remodeling as more people took part in do-it-yourself (DIY) activities, driving demand for architectural coatings.
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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.
Safeguard your future with the opportunity to discuss your expectations and learn from industry experts at The ICIS 2020 World Phenol-Acetone Conference, a biennial event in the calendar of professionals across the globe. You can get face-to-face time with existing suppliers or explore new business opportunities to initiate future connections.
As a global event, a worldwide perspective is reflected throughout agenda topics, speakers and attendees. With content covering regional trends and their impact globally, you can expect to gain insight on a variety of relevant topics