PMMA prices become stable in May in Europe because of a more balanced market. Producers appear to have succeeded in balancing the market by lowering operating rates in line with the lower demand.
This is preventing prices from retreating on the back of oversupply.
PMMA demand decreased in the past few weeks because of the recent surge in prices. Supply chain problems downstream also redued activity and lowered demand. What is more, inflationary pressures appear to also be weakening demand.
To prevent oversupply and negative margins, producers have apparently reduced operating rates to around 70 percent.
Nevertheless, this stability means that prices remain firm after the substantial increases in April.
The current price level of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) injection moulding grade is around €3,000/mt for many buyers.
Europe is suffering from the recent spikes in energy prices. This prompted one producer to extent its maintenance turnaround and supply customers with lower cost PMMA from other regions.
The current stability will probably continue during the summer, if gas prices remain around current levels, namely just below €100/MWh.
A few buyers apparently received competitive offers for Asian volumes, around €200/mt lower than domestic prices.
These, however, seem exceptions as the rise in logistic costs meant prices of imports are now the same as domestic prices, even higher for many buyers.
As the war continues amid increasing inflationary pressures, the second half of the year is shaping up to be a very challenging period for all market participants.