Europe Q3 MMA contracts rollover on improved regional supply

Source: ICIS News

2018/08/10

LONDON (ICIS)--European methyl methacrylate (MMA) third-quarter contracts settled at a rollover, amid improved regional supply and overall decent demand, sources said on Friday.

A number of players were unable to reach a quarterly agreement, with both sides unyielding on their targets, with a shift to shorter term contracts because of this.

Third-quarter MMA prices concluded at €2,485-2,565/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), a rollover from the second quarter.

Spot prices were stable to soft this week, with higher prices edging lower amid limited trading activity in August.

Monthly contract talks for August are in the early stages, with rollover targets heard from sellers and decrease targets from buyers.

Given the extent of the price increases last year, there were expectations for larger decreases this year.

However, tightness in supply and rising prices in the US, and a shift in trade flows has slowed down the expected decreases so far this year.

Demand is traditionally lower in August, with levels picking up in September as normal business resumes.

Some buyers and distributors have been destocking in recent months, in anticipation of lower prices going forward.

This will contribute to the uptick in demand in September; however, there are still expectations that purchasing will be on a hand-to-mouth basis, as buyers continue to pursue lower prices.

Imports have dropped in recent weeks, with traders struggling to make moving material from Asia work as European spot prices softened.

There will be a series of planned turnarounds globally in the second half of the year, with product currently moving to the US with supply very tight in the region currently.

A heavy maintenance slate in Asia from September onwards is expected to change the flow of product again, which will reduce possible imports for the European market.

There is also maintenance in Europe, with Arkema currently undergoing a stoppage in Italy, and Evonik preparing for an outage in September at Worms, Germany.

There were some concerns over the low water levels at the river Rhine, and the impact on production for Evonik. However, the producer confirmed this week that production was not currently impacted.