Several producers in Europe are seeing a decline in orders for protective sheets. The slowdown in infections appears to be reducing the appetite for this application.
Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) demand for protective sheets is slowing in July. Producers of sheets noted a slowdown in demand and said some customers are even cancelling orders.
It appears that the slowdown in infections across Europe has caused business to review safety measures. This means that total demand could fall even further in the next few months. But protective sheets will most likely remain one of the strongest markets for PMMA despite this slowdown.
Nevertheless, with many downstream segments recovering slowly, an ease in demand for protective sheets could make the current oversupply worse.
The extent of the decrease in demand for this applications is unknown but there are strong indications from participants that buying is easing. And as infections decrease, this trend could continue.
The pandemic has caused many companies to run out of cash. Protective sheets are an additional cost for some. And as the danger of infections decreases, it makes sense to scale down on additional costs.
Demand found support lately from the construction sector which is picking up after the lock-downs. But the increase in activity is mainly for existing projects. There is enormous concern for the sector in 2021 because investments for new projects are low.
PMMA prices are currently close to the bottom and there is not much room for more decreases. But a rebound is not expected any time soon either, at least not until next year.
The virus will continue to keep uncertainty high and dent consumer confidence. Therefore big spends on cars, houses and other luxury goods will be contained.
The threat of the virus will continue to support demand for protective sheets, especially if there is a second wave. But the peak of demand for this applications for now seems to have passed.