Europe spot MMA prices spike on supply strains

02 May 2014 17:07 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Europe spot methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices are higher this week because of supply constraints, following the force majeure declaration by major producer Lucite International last week, sources said on Friday.

The company declared force majeure on MMA at its 200,000 tonne/year Cassel, UK site, with effect from 24 April. 

Spot prices are €30/tonne up on values seen last week at €1,670-1,750/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

There is a wide range of pricing being reported this week, with offers in the €1,800s/tonne FD NWE, and a couple of truckloads sold higher for June and July delivery, one trader said.

Some buyers are holding off buying spot volumes as they assess the situation from the sidelines.

Players said it is too early to work out the absolute effect the supply constraints are having on spot pricing, and said that a clearer supply and pricing picture is likely to emerge next week, following further confirmation from the producer.

A couple of traders said that if the force majeure continues for another few weeks, prices were likely to escalate.

One buyer said: "It's exceptionally tight at the moment, but we're fully covered for May and really June depends on the circumstances... If Lucite doesn't come back in May we would have trouble [securing material]."

"It is very tight," another buyer said.

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By Helena Strathearn