Polymethyl Methacrylate prices up in February, brace for another round of hefty increase in Europe
Polymethyl Methacrylate prices up in February, brace for another round of hefty increase in Europe

Polymethyl Methacrylate prices up in February, brace for another round of hefty increase in Europe

  • 07-Mar-2024 3:13 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

Hamburg (Germany): After experiencing a bearish trend in the previous month, Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) prices have strengthened across the European market during mid-Q1 of 2024. High upstream prices and tight supply were the main drivers behind the price rise. Additionally, regional manufacturers had a chance to improve their margins by applying increased costs in some cases due to delivery delays and a lack of imports. Moreover, demand from the downstream derivative industry has remained steady amid economic challenges. Market players are now bracing for another round of strong increases in March, with their eyes on the next feedstock settlement.

According to the latest database from ChemAnalyst, prices of PMMA have shown an increase of USD 31/MT in the German market. The support from feedstock Methyl Methacrylate was significant for PMMA as its prices settled on the higher end during the month. Furthermore, operating rates have been under pressure in the domestic market, leading to restricted availability of finished PMMA stock. Additionally, German Purchasing Manager Index (PMI) remained in the negative territory, indicating a contraction in industrial and manufacturing activity.

Meanwhile, a lack of shipments from the US and Asia, coupled with longer lead times and thin buying interest, led to a squeeze in import availability within the market, further strengthening PMMA prices. Demand for PMMA from the downstream automotive industry has been moderate across the domestic market, but it is expected to increase in the coming months. German car sales rose in February, thanks to an extra day for the leap year, but demand for electric models slumped.

According to the KBA federal transport authority, a total of 217,388 new cars hit the roads in Germany last month, an increase of 5.4 percent from the same month a year ago. However, without the additional leap-year day, car sales have increased marginally by 0.4 percent. Nevertheless, inquiries from the construction industry have remained average amid high interest rates, but it had a limited bearing on the prices of PMMA. As a result, prices of PMMA FD Hamburg were offered at USD 3156/MT during February 2024.

On the other hand, Rohm, a major producer of PMMA, is expanding its PMMA production capacity in Worms, Germany, with the opening of a new plant specifically for PLEXIGLAS molding compounds. By increasing its production capacity, Rohm aims to respond to steadily growing demand, especially from the automotive industry.

Looking ahead, ChemAnalyst anticipates that prices of PMMA will rise in the European market as major producer Rohm increases the prices for its PMMA molding compounds in March 2024. Additionally, demand for PMMA from the downstream automotive industry might increase, further strengthening PMMA prices.

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