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 Despite Weak Feedstock Costs, Methyl Methacrylate Prices Increase in the US Market
 Despite Weak Feedstock Costs, Methyl Methacrylate Prices Increase in the US Market

Despite Weak Feedstock Costs, Methyl Methacrylate Prices Increase in the US Market

  • 08-Nov-2023 5:02 PM
  • Journalist: Patricia Jose Perez

Methyl Methacrylate prices have demonstrated an upward trend across the US market even though the fragile feedstock prices in early November 2023, as Roehm and other key producers, have increased the prices effective from 1st November 2023. Demand for Methyl Methacrylate from downstream Polymethyl Methacrylate has marginally increased as consumption from the construction industry has improved slightly, and it is anticipated to increase in the near term. However, on the other hand, inquiries from other sectors, such as automotive, have been inactive, but they had limited bearing over the price realizations of Methyl Methacrylate in the domestic market.

A major producer, Roehm in Darmstadt, Germany, has raised prices for Methyl Methacrylate and other Methacrylate monomer products in the United States effective from 1st November 2023. Similarly, another manufacturer of Methyl Methacrylate, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylate (MCM), also independently announced a price increase in November. These pricing adjustments cast light on the obscured challenges that companies operating in the Methacrylate market, particularly within the United States, are currently confronting. However, Acetone, which is the major raw material for producing Methyl Methacrylate, has declined; currently, it has a restrained influence on the prices of Methyl Methacrylate in the domestic market. However, Acetone prices are anticipated to increase in the coming weeks. As a ripple effect, prices of Methyl Methacrylate FOB USGC were settled at USD 1981/MT with a week-on-week increment of USD 87/MT during the week ending 1st November.

Market players reported that demand for Methyl Methacrylate from the downstream Polymethyl Methacrylate industry has slightly increased as consumption from the construction sector has improved, albeit at a smaller pace. As per the sources, in October, construction employment continued to trend up about in line with the average monthly gain of 18,000 over the prior 12 months. Employment continued to trend up over the months in specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings, which further supported the current price trend of Methyl Methacrylate in the domestic market. However, after showing promising performance in the past month, the automotive sector weakened in October. As per the data, US new vehicle sales of 1,211,141 units for the month of October represented a decrease of 9.6% from September 2023, although an increase of 2.0% have been reported from one year ago in October 2022, as production and logistics become difficult in the US with some plants closed due to UAW labour strike against GM, Ford, and Stellantis, it had insufficient to drive the price realizations of Methyl Methacrylate at the lower end.

On the other hand, the manufacturer of Methyl Methacrylate in the US, Dow, has reported third-quarter sales, which showed Q3 net sales were USD 10.73 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 23.98%. The operating profit was USD 302 million, a significant decrease of more than 60% year-on-year. In addition, earnings per share were USD 0.42, based on operating income, and earnings per share were USD 0.48, a decrease from USD 1.11 in the same period last year and USD 0.75 in the previous quarter.

As per ChemAnalyst's estimation, Methyl Methacrylate prices will increase in the coming weeks due to further expectations of a rise in inquiries from the Polymethyl Methacrylate industry. The feedstock Acetone prices will increase, in line with the high crude oil prices, which might positively impact the production cost of Methyl Methacrylate in the forthcoming weeks.

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