US MMA contract prices roll over
US methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices settled flat for November, sources said on 26 November, despite some recent supply constraints.
The rollover held the truck range at $1.22-1.26/lb ($2,690-2,778/tonne, €1,991-2,056/tonne), as assessed by ICIS.
Domestic supply tightened within a previously balanced MMA market after a force majeure declaration in mid-October, but sources said the recent resumption of shipments has re-balanced the seasonally slowing market.
October truck and rail contracts also previously settled flat on balanced conditions.
US producer Lucite is scheduled to resume normal contractual shipments after 30 November. Allocated shipments began in mid-month, following difficulties at its Memphis, Tennessee, plant.
The company declared force majeure in late October after experiencing a mechanical failure on restart after being forced to curtail production a week earlier on constraints from a key feedstock supplier.
Sources on both sides of the market are anticipating improved demand in the coatings markets in early 2014.
Downstream, US pending home sales fell in October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Although the decline was relatively slight – just 0.6% – it was the fifth straight monthly downturn amid declining housing affordability.
Home buying has become less affordable in the last year for many as the on-and-off housing recovery has driven property prices up while mortgage interest rates also have been increasing.
Major US MMA producers include Lucite, Arkema, Dow Chemical and Evonik.