PMMA prices roll over in August in Europe due to low demand countering upward pressure from rising energy costs.
As sellers fail to secure increases amid rising costs, producers’ margins suffer once again.
After the abrupt fall in demand for protective sheets since the pandemic and a struggling automotive sector, PMMA demand has struggled to recover.
With the summer slowdown, buyers are waiting to see how the market will pick up in September, further weakening demand.
At the same time, soaring gas prices increased the pressure to push for increases.
But buyers resisted increases. The rollover in August follows consecutive rollovers since the jump in April.
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) prices have not followed many other polymers which have surged during the pandemic.
Therefore the latest increases in energy costs have been more painful for domestic PMMA producers. Most have been forced to heavily reduce operating rates,
Meanwhile, because of the energy crisis, Europe continues to lose competitiveness against other regions.
In fact, Asian PMMA prices remain competitive and the arbitrage to Europe open.
While August is a slow month due to the summer slowdown in Europe, part of the weak demand is also to do with a general slowdown in economic activity fuelled by the war in the Ukraine.
The outlook for the rest of the year is gloomy as players will see rising energy costs but a potential collapse in demand.