Adequate Inventories and Limited Demand Drive Down Polymethyl Methacrylate Prices in Asia and Europe
- 11-Aug-2023 1:39 PM
- Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa
Polymethyl Methacrylate prices have inched lower across the Asian and European markets throughout July 2023, supported by low feedstock prices. The bleak downstream demand and sufficient inventories have deteriorated the pricing dynamic of Polymethyl Methacrylate. Furthermore, the weak economic recovery in Asia's biggest economy China along with the ongoing cost of living crisis has created recessionary conditions in the key market, including Europe, which obstructed the market growth of Polymethyl Methacrylate.
Polymethyl Methacrylate prices have declined by USD 30/MT in the Chinese market on account of slow demand and adequate inventories. China's economy has been struggling to gain momentum since a hoped-for post-zero-covid policy rebound failed to materialize. The subdued demand from the downstream automotive and construction have dragged down the nation's GDP growth. Market players reported China passenger vehicle sales fell in July, as discounts and government support measures failed to persuade consumers wary of buying cars amid a sputtering economy and a prolonged slump in the housing market. According to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), car sales totaled 1.79 million units in July, down 2.6% from last year. Furthermore, the oversupplies of feedstock Methyl Methacrylate have limited the positive development of Polymethyl Methacrylate in the domestic market. Meanwhile, the steady imports from major exporting countries such as South Korea and Japan and from Malaysia have led to sufficient material availability in the Chinese market. Although, as per the market sources, China imports dropped more sharply than expected in July (i.e., 12.4%), indicating a contraction in new orders. Meanwhile, super typhoon Doksuri prowls in the Pacific Ocean and is likely to hit the Southern Coast and may impact industrial and logistics activities as the news is still under development, and the precise estimation of the disruptions remains to be seen. Therefore, prices of Polymethyl Methacrylate CFR Shanghai were settled at USD 1993/MT during July 2023.
On the other side, Polymethyl Methacrylate prices have decreased substantially in the German market owing to low-cost pressure from feedstock Methyl Methacrylate. On the input energy front, Natural gas prices were settled on the lower end amid subdued demand and sufficient storage in the domestic market, which eased the production cost of several commodities, including Polymethyl Methacrylate. On the demand front, the inquiries from the downstream construction industries have continued to deteriorate amidst firm inflationary pressure and rising interest rates by the central bank. Market sources reported Construction Purchasing Manager's Index declined from 44.2 in June to 43.5 in July, indicating a contraction zone. Although the automotive sector has witnessed a positive recovery, it did not lead to an increase in the price realizations of Polymethyl Methacrylate in the domestic market. As a result, Polymethyl Methacrylate FD Hamburg prices were assessed at USD 3379/MT with a month-on-month decrement of 12.9% during the same time frame.
As per ChemAnalyst, Polymethyl Methacrylate prices are anticipated to increase on account of high-cost pressure from upstream values. The demand from the downstream industries is expected to rise but at a slower pace.