Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is published by ICIS weekly in Asia and Europe. These reliable and trustworthy reports include price assessments for spot general purpose in Asia and contract for standard grade in Europe.
Our locally-based reporters gather market intelligence to give unbiased information on market overviews, outlooks, feedstock updates and any other influencing factors driving the prices. This up-to-date news and analysis can help you to make informed commercial choices.
Updated to Q2 2021
Supply remained tight in Q2, tracking tight feedstock MMA. There were several turnarounds in Asia, including at South Korea’s Lotte MCC Corporation, Singapore’s Sumitomo Chemical Asia, and China’s Mitsubishi Chemical Polymer Nantong. Suppliers had limited inventory and some had to cut allocations. Some Asian suppliers focused on their domestic markets and had fewer volumes to export.
Demand was largely healthy early in Q2. The extruded sheets sector was subdued but other end-uses in home appliances, light guide panels and automotive were doing well. Subsequently, demand started to slow. The global semiconductor chip shortage affected production in the electronics and automotive sectors. Demand also slowed as the traditional off-peak season approached. A slowdown in other thermoplastics impacted buying sentiment. Coronavirus resurgence and restrictions also hurt demand in southeast Asia and India.
Supply tightened, reflecting issues seen upstream with MMA. This restricted some availability of the product for all grades. Imports were also limited.
Demand remained strong overall. Automotive was a strong sector, and a slight dip in demand seen earlier in Q2 due to the semiconductor shortage began to reverse as the situation eased after changes were made to the manufacturing process. The DIY sector performed strongly in Q2, although sheet and point-of-sale demand was relatively weak but consistent.
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Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is the most important application for methyl methacrylate (MMA).
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is an acrylic polymer that has high ultraviolet (UV) resistance and is available as resin or sheet. About two-thirds of consumption is in sheets produced by extrusion or casting, while the remainder is moulded into various shapes.
PMMA’s primary use is in car headlamps and taillights. The second-largest use is in construction (pool and sanitary ware, architectural fittings), and glazing/signage.
A growing sector for PMMA is in electronic applications, such as flat screen televisions and liquid crystal displays (LCD’s).
Other uses are household appliances, optical media (DVDs, lenses), electronics, mobile phone displays, cosmetics packaging, toys, pens and furniture.
PMMA is available as a white powder or clear plastic sheet, is stable and non-hazardous, but incompatible with strong oxidising agents. It is combustible and in powder form is harmful by ingestion or inhalation.