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PMMA Extrusion Prices Surge by €140 per Metric Ton in Europe Amid Shortages

PMMA Extrusion Prices Surge in July 2024. The European market is experiencing a significant increase in the price of Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) extrusion, which has risen by €140 per metric ton, according to GC Intelligence price assessments for July 2024.

This surge is attributed to a combination of shortages and increased freight costs, causing concerns among manufacturers and buyers.

While the prices for PMMA extrusion have escalated, other grades of PMMA, such as high impact and injection moulding, have remained relatively stable due to lower demand. The primary factor driving up extrusion prices is the heavy reliance on imports, which have become scarce. Additionally, higher freight costs have added upward pressure on prices.

The increase in PMMA prices and the ongoing shortage have led producers of extruded sheets to scale back production. This reduction has tightened the market, bringing PMMA sheet prices to the same level as polycarbonate sheets. Despite this, the possibility of substituting PMMA with polycarbonate remains limited due to specific application requirements.

EU PMMA imports decreased from January to May 2024

EU PMMA imports decreased from January to May, according to the latest trade data by Eurostat. The reduction in imports has tightened sections of the PMMA European market that significantly rely on imports.

The extrusion sector is experiencing severe shortages and delays, with the lack of imports often cited as the main cause. The data is current up to May, and given the current market sentiment, June data should show further decreases.

The shortages and current high freight costs have pushed European PMMA extrusion prices, in some cases, above injection moulding prices, according to GC Intelligence price assessments. The price of feedstock MMA has also increased recently, placing further upward pressure on prices.

PMMA Trade data Europe January to May 2024
Source: GC Intelligence (Eurostat)

As EU PMMA imports decreased, buyers note they struggle to source from both Asia and Saudi Arabia, the two main exporting sources to Europe.

Nonetheless, amid the shortages, it is understood that domestic PMMA is becoming more available to the European market. This is due to a combination of strategic moves and possibly less competitive prices from imports, allowing domestic suppliers to increase volumes into the extrusion market.

Röhm Advances Sustainable Road Markings

Röhm advances sustainable road markings. Röhm is collaborating with SWARCO to introduce eco-friendly road markings in urban areas, with a successful implementation in Darmstadt, Germany.

This initiative supports Darmstadt’s goal to increase its cycling population from 20 percent to one third.

SWARCO, a global leader in road marking systems, developed the new marking material using Röhm’s DEGAROUTE® and DEGAROUTE® proTerra binders. These binders, noted for their durability and lower CO2 emissions, include recycled methyl methacrylate, boosting their environmental advantages.

The new marking material was applied to a 100-square-meter bike lane in Darmstadt, curing quickly and allowing cyclists to use the lane shortly after. The bright red markings enhance cyclist safety and visibility.

Röhm and SWARCO aim to produce road markings that are environmentally friendly and sustainable, using recycled and eco-conscious materials. The success in Darmstadt represents a significant step towards more sustainable urban mobility.

Röhm is dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and achieving climate-neutral production by 2050. The company hopes other cities will adopt similar sustainable marking systems.

The introduction of these eco-friendly road markings in Darmstadt highlights a growing trend towards greener urban planning and transportation infrastructure.

EU PMMA AND MMA PRICE INCREASES CONTINUE IN JULY
demand increase

GC Intelligence (LONDON) – July 2024 – EU PMMA and MMA price increases continue. Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) and Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) prices continue to climb in July, according to GC Intelligence market analysis.

This price surge is part of a broader trend observed throughout the year, driven by several factors:

  1. Domestic Production Issues: Apparent persistent problems in domestic production have contributed to the scarcity of both PMMA and MMA in the market in recent months.
  2. Supply Issues from Imports: Import supply disruptions from the Middle East and Asia have exacerbated the shortages.
  3. Low Demand Yet Short Supply: Despite a lower demand, both markets remain short on supply, highlighting the severity of the production and import issues.
  4. Longer Lead Times: Extended lead times have further fueled price increases.
  5. Rising Freight Costs: Recently, increased freight costs have added an additional €100- 200/MT, putting more upward pressure on prices.
  6. Price Gains: Price gains could reach close to €1000/MT for some buyers from levels seen at the end of last year.

Current Market Outlook

Under the current market conditions, there is a general consensus that prices will continue to rise until at least September. However, there are some positive developments on the horizon:

  1. Increased Domestic Supply: There is apparently better news regarding domestic supply for MMA.
  2. Chinese Producers Entering the Market: More Chinese MMA producers are attempting to enter the European market, which could help alleviate some of the shortages in the future.

Future Prospects

While these developments may not immediately resolve the current shortages, they indicate a potential improvement in availability and increased competition in the market. This could lead to better market stability and possibly more favorable pricing in the longer term.

Overall, the PMMA and MMA markets are experiencing a challenging period, but the efforts to increase supply and competition provide a hopeful outlook for the future.

For information on price indices, forecasts, comprehensive market analysis, and more, check out our monthly market reports.


TRINSEO OPENS PMMA RECYCLING FACILITY
sustainability

GC Intelligence (London) – Trinseo opens PMMA recycling facility. Trinseo has opened its new PMMA depolymerization facility in Rho, Italy, enhancing its commitment to sustainability goals.

The facility utilizes next-gen recycling technology to advance circular infrastructure for acrylics, aligning with Trinseo’s 2030 sustainability targets.

A community event marked the opening, attended by notable figures, including Francesca Reverberi and Mayor Andrea Orlandi.

Depolymerization chemically recycles acrylics to monomer MMA, allowing for high-purity recycling of PMMA products.

This facility leverages the EU-funded MMAtwo Consortium’s findings to create a new value chain for PMMA recycling.

The recycled MMA produced is used in Trinseo’s ALTUGLAS™ and PLEXIGLAS® R-Life products, suitable for high-demand applications.