February 18, 2021
Fears of raw material shortages provided an additional boost to demand as players seek to build up stocks.

PMMA demand remains upbeat in February in Europe mainly because of healthy activity downstream, according to GC Intelligence market analysis.

Most market segments were buoyant in February, also boosted directly by the ongoing support from the pandemic.

After an initial slump during the first wave, the pandemic has supported demand in many markets.

Protective sheets demand has slowed from the peak in 2020 but remains strong. While household goods and automotive have also been healthy markets during the second wave.

But some weak signals are emerging in the auto sector from the lack of semiconductors which is affecting car production across Europe.

Nevertheless, for now, buying from the sector remains strong.

However, both the automotive and construction industry data have been rather negative, especially for the auto sector.

The most recent data from The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) shows a 24% yearly drop in new car registrations in January.

And Eurostat numbers on production in construction for December showed a yearly decrease of 2.1%.

But for the past few months, market feedback from PMMA players has been contradictory to the official statistics.

This may be do do with ongoing disruptions and lack of imports pushing players to build stocks along the value chain and boosting demand amid low sales downstream.

There are worries over a potential severe shortage of methyl methacrylate (MMA). European spot MMA prices jumped above €2,000/mt in Europe in February, up from €1,400/mt in September.

Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)’s main applications are sheets for the construction sector, such as green houses and sound barriers.

In the automotive sector, PMMA is used in rear lights, glazing, and windshields.

PMMA has been the product of choice to fight against the spread of the virus. And demand for this applications spiked in 2020 and remains healthy in 2021.