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.
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Updated to Q2 2019
Methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply in Asia was slightly mixed in Q2. Production cuts remained in place for certain facilities amid a weak global economy, while minor unplanned technical glitches occurred in the region. Separately, some Asian volumes were exported towards other areas such as Oceania and the US, following significant production disruptions in the US earlier in the quarter. On the other hand, the capacity expansion for a unit in South Korea provided some counterbalance.
MMA demand in Asia spiraled down for Q2, amid gradual changes in the global supply-demand balance, as well as economic uncertainties brought about by general elections in southeast Asia, and the prolonged US-China trade negotiations. Emulsion users mostly secured small volumes for existing orders, while cast sheet makers relied on contract cargoes and took a wait-and-see stance. Particularly for June, spot buyers tended to delay talks or stay silent in the face of new offers.
European methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply was long for most of Q2, linked to local production running well and imports. Global supply started to balance out towards the end of quarter, linked to production cuts, particularly in Asia.
Q2 is traditionally the highest demand period for MMA, linked to a pick up in coatings consumption. Coatings demand has been largely in line with expectations, while automotive demand continues to underperform.
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply was balanced despite an issue at Lucite International’s plant in Beaumont, TX. Buyers say the production disruption did not greatly impact supply and they had no issues securing material.
US MMA demand was constant in the third quarter as the paints and coatings sector was strong while demand from the automobile sector was slightly weaker than usual. Sources say the MMA market has not faced the dip in demand that other petrochemical markets have seen.
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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