London (GC Intelligence) — 28/11/18 — The polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) market in Europe and globally has been through an extended period of supply tightness, pushing prices to extreme highs. The development of recent events are showing signs that the market is finally set to reverse, something that buyers have been waiting for more than a year.
The relentless surge in prices had stalled in the summer after a slight ease in demand and better supply from the start-up of the new production in Saudi Arabia. Some of the key downstream markets, namely automotive and construction, continued to soften in September and October. But despite the clear, negative change in demand, PMMA prices did not decrease, unlike other related plastics, such as polycarbonate (PC).
Prices of the main raw material methyl methacrylate (MMA) have remained high up to until recently, a key factor that stopped PMMA prices from retreating in a period of weakening demand. MMA prices for some companies had been above PMMA prices, an unsustainable state, indicative of the complex situation in both markets.
This situation could change Q1 as MMA prices recently showed persistent signs of weakness in line with ongoing worsening of the economic environment. Lower costs and low demand will most likely prove decisive in ensuring a downward correction on PMMA in Q1.
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