Europe Jan MMA contract prices steady to soft despite cost rises

24 January 2014 23:59 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Europe January methyl methacrylate (MMA) contract prices have rolled over and decreased slightly from the previous month despite higher feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.

January MMA contract prices are at €1,780-1,820/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), and the range is €10/tonne lower on the high end.

Upstream acetone and propylene contract prices for December and January have risen by a total of €28/tonne and €50/tonne respectively, and the European methanol contract for the first quarter increased by €37/tonne.

“Despite the feedstock pressure going up, demand is not that good yet,” a buyer said. It added that winter temperatures might fall and slow demand further. “There is room for a downward price.”

“I had a small decrease,” a second buyer said. “Availability is good from European suppliers.”

Another buyer said: “We see MMA in the low-to-mid €1,700/tonne for contracts, but certainly not above €1,800/tonne. Spot might be slightly higher than €1,600/tonne for January. Product is easily available as we buy railcar quantities.”

“This week we've had a lot of orders,” a producer said. “Demand is strong, January is much better than it was last year. We are already scheduled to run at full rates in February.”

“Demand is stable with December,” another buyer said.

However, one buyer that said its demand is 10% better than at the same time last year said there is more confidence in the sector, and said that demand had really only picked up this week. It said it had rolled over its prices with one supplier and reduced prices at another.

First-quarter MMA contract prices are in discussion.

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By Helena Strathearn