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 2020
Spot supply was tight in Q3. Some Asian producers were unable to increase production rates on poor margins and firm feedstock costs. Amid a heavy turnaround period in August-November, producers needed to build inventory. Sumitomo Chemical had an outage in Japan in August. One line in Singapore was shut for turnaround in September until mid-October. China’s Zhejiang Petrochemical plant started up in July and Qixiang Tengda’s plant started up in September, but the impact was lower than expected.
The demand situation is mixed. PMMA sheets, cast or extruded, saw softer demand for the protective barrier application, although support was still seen from the sector. The transparent plastics sector, including ABS, saw healthy performance amid the peak season for manufacturing, but the paints and emulsions sector is subdued. Demand recovery in China for the automotive sector and light guide panels for LCD screens lent support.
Q3 saw a series of planned maintenance shutdowns in Europe, while imports remained limited. Supply tightened as a result.
Demand was higher than expected, with the summer slowdown not being as pronounced due to the coronavirus shutdowns earlier in the year.
Supply was long in Q3 and met demand. A producer ran its plant at a reduced operating rate of 70% due to weaker demand. Imports were limited because the economics were unattractive. Some production was taken offline in late August because of severe weather along the US Gulf, but came back online shortly thereafter. An order control on methacrylates remained in effect.
Demand into the automotive and construction segments continued to recover as the economy improved, and the housing market recovery boosted demand into solid surface applications. Although the backlog for acrylic sheets remained healthy, it was no longer growing at previous rates. The trajectory was seen as K-shaped, and split between sheet and non-sheet demand.
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.
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.
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