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MMA Market Tightness is Pushing Spot Prices Higher

September 16, 2020
A combination of factors are driving the rebound in September.

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) market tightness is pushing spot prices higher in September, with numbers heard at €1500/mt.

A little over a month ago prices were still quoted at below €1400/mt.

There are several factors that are playing out that have lead to a shortage that is pushing spot prices higher.

Demand has increased after the summer holiday. Part of this may be to do with players restocking after having run down inventories in the summer due to uncertainty. But demand for downstream polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is also improving.

The need for protective sheets against the virus continues to support PMMA demand. However, other traditional sectors are also getting better, such as sound barriers and other applications in the construction sector.

However, the automotive sector continues to lag behind other markets. This is also confirmed by a somewhat lacklustre MMA demand from the coatings industry.

Another reason for the current MMA shortage is several turnarounds. It is understood that more than one producer is in turnaround in Europe and this has fuelled the shortage.

What is more, players are feeling the shortage also upstream, namely of the feedstock acetone. In fact, spot acetone offers soared to €1000/mt, an indication that indeed the market is tight.

Therefore, a combination of raw material shortages, improving demand and turnarounds is driving MMA prices higher in September.