LONDON (GC Intelligence) – Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) spot prices continued to slide in October, and dipped to around €1500/mt for some, against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty fuelling weak fundamentals. Contract prices are not far behind.
There is a widespread decrease in demand in line with a slowdown in economic growth. This is magnifying the downward pressure on demand from a seasonal dip in the paints and coatings and construction sectors.
Prices have been falling throughout the year because of this weakening demand.
In the past few weeks, the downward direction seems to have gathered pace. With little to suggest a turnaround amid Brexit uncertainty and tariff wars, buyers remain cautions.
The decrease in operating rates and shutdowns seem to have had little impact on supply, and availability remains ample.
As oversupply has also gripped Asia, the arbitrage to Europe remains closed for MMA. In such a volatile environment, traders are reluctant to take any positions and prefer to do back-to-back deals.
PMMA from Asia, however, is fiercely competitive, with offers in the extrusion market heard below €1500/mt, and even close to €1400/mt.
Trade statistics for the first seven month of this year show little change in volumes compared to last year, confirming that indeed importers are fighting hard to maintain the same volumes in a weak European market.
The current market situation for both MMA and PMMA should remain the same because there has been a lack of positive developments to lower uncertainty and restore confidence.
As players remain nervous about the future, demand looks set to stay weak for the reminder of the year, with a low probability of a recovery in 2020.
NOTE: For price levels, forecasts, and a more in-depth analysis take a look at the GC INTELLIGENCE® Market Reports…→