Contrary Price Trend of Polymethyl Methacrylate in the German and Japanese Markets
- 13-Oct-2022 6:00 PM
- Journalist: Patrick Knight
Towards the beginning of Q4, Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) prices showed mixed sentiments in the Asia and European markets. In Germany, PMMA prices have increased, supported by the high raw material and energy prices. In contrast, weak feedstock costs and bearish demand from the domestic and overseas markets have resulted in the price drop of PMMA in Japan.
As per the data, prices of PMMA have shown a marginal drop of around 1% in the Japanese Market during the first week of October owing to the weak demand from the downstream automotive and construction industries. At the same time, demand from the international Market has declined amid economic slowdowns. On the other hand, the low production cost of PMMA amid the soft raw material Methyl Methacrylate cost has forced the manufacturer to revise their price quotation of PMMA. Furthermore, major manufacturers of Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation in Toyama, Japan, having a capacity of around 28,000 MT/year, have planned to shut down their plant due to maintenance turnaround. Currently, there are limited to no effects of the Shutdown. However, prolonged closure may affect supply dynamics in the coming quarter.
Meanwhile, in the German Market, PMMA has increased by 2%, bolstered by the limited supplies in the region. Furthermore, the domestic production cost has remained high amid soaring energy and operating costs, resulting in weak output rates. The speculation of recession across the European Market has dampened the demand from the downstream automotive and construction sector. According to the Eurostat data, the inflation rate in Europe rose from 7.9% to 10% in September 2022, compared with the previous month. On the other hand, high feedstock Methyl Methacrylate has also raised the production cost of Polymethyl Methacrylate, thus resulting in the increased prices of PMMA. In addition, the European supply chain has been disrupted due to the region's port congestions, mainly in Hamburg, along with cargo bunching. The port congestion still has not eased, amidst another strike announced in the UK's port, Liverpool, from 11th October to 17th October 2022 for seven days, affecting inland transportation and trading activities. Also, a major European manufacturer, Rohm GmbH, has raised the PMMA prices due to high energy costs.
According to ChemAnalyst estimation, "PMMA prices will likely be increased during the upcoming weeks, due to further expectation of improving demand from the downstream industries. At the same time, feedstock MMA prices will rise, which further impact the prices of PMMA in the German and Japanese markets."