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 2019
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply was mixed in Asia. In China, Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical’s new No 2 plant came on stream in September and Chongqing Yixiang’s new plant started up in December. Singapore’s Sumitomo Chemical Asia restarted an idle line in November. Major producer Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemical Corp saw production issues in Middle East, US and the UK. Japan’s Asahi Kasei shut its unit for scheduled maintenance for a month in October-November.
Demand from the downstream polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), acrylic sheets and emulsion sectors slowed down due to the year-end lull season. The US-China trade war and slowdown in economy affected the automotive and construction industry and impacted demand. Buyers had little spot appetite for cargoes, given the market uncertainty, while sellers were reluctant to lower prices on cost pressure.
European methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply lengthened towards the end of the year, despite lower operating rates in the region. Imports from Asia and the Middle East slowed with limited demand for the extra volumes.
Demand for MMA was lower in the fourth quarter, as is usual for the time of year, amid end-of-year destocking and lower consumption from the coatings sector.
Supply of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in the fourth quarter of 2019 lengthened despite a prolonged plant turnaround. Supply was long at the end of 2019 as demand for MMA is persistently weak and a poor economic outlook persisted through the year. Buyers said the production issues in the fourth quarter did not greatly impact supply and they had no issues obtaining needed material.
Demand for MMA was weaker than usual in most sectors as the downstream polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) market faced headwinds while paints and coatings performed above expectations in the year. US MMA demand typically tracks the strength of the US economy, which has been facing headwinds. Over half of all MMA goes into PMMA.
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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