PMMA prices failed to increase in July in Europe due to higher energy prices countering downward pressure from low demand.
With energy costs soaring, polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) European producers continue to struggle to defend margins.
A weak demand for months has prevented producers from passing on the energy cost increases on to their customers.
While crude oil prices decreased, with the brent benchamark down to $100/bbl, gas prices were still around €160/MWh. This compares to a long term average of just under €60/MWh.
After the spike in April, PMMA prices have rolled over since, a trend that is expected to last until the end of the summer.
PMMA prices failed to increase and for injection moulding grade remained above €3,000/mt.
Meanwhile, the main raw material methyl methacrylate (MMA) saw import spot prices decrease quite substantially on the back of low demand in China.
However, lower MMA import prices will have minimum impact in Europe as domestic prices were not falling because of the high energy costs.
Due to the higher energy costs, European PMMA players across the entire value chain continued to experience a loss of compatitiveness against other regions. And this was likely contributing to the falling demand in many market segments.