For the Quarter Ending September 2021
In North America, following the economic recovery, demand for PMMA from the automotive and construction sectors witnessed an upward trajectory in the third quarter of 2021. PMMA market remained firm throughout the quarter backed by the considerable demand for sanitizers and protective gears across the world. Therefore, PMMA pricing dynamics remained firm because of strong demand that consequently resulted into the increment in its values during this quarter. Moreover, due to the severe climate calamity, many production units remained shut in the Gulf Coast of USA in August end for around two weeks that directly impacted the feedstock availability and also disrupted the supply chain and hence, further influenced the prices of PMMA in US.
In the Asia Pacific region, PMMA prices witnessed a downward trajectory during the third quarter of 2021 despite the resumption in the commercial activities due to the ample availability of the product. PMMA market continued to remain dampened in Asia although the market outlook varied from country to country. In India, PMMA values dropped consistently throughout the period because buyers restrained to adhere to bulk purchasing activities under the hover uncertainties after the second wave of Covid. However, marginal increment in the spot buying was witnessed in the latter half of the quarter but it was not enough to revive the prolonged dullness in the market sentiments since the last two months. Hence, overall market outlook in India for PMMA remained gloomy thus PMMA prices drifted to USD 2142.30 per MT from USD 2258.26 per MT in this timeframe of July to September.
In Europe, the PMMA market outlook appeared balanced to tight in the third quarter of 2021. The producers of feedstock MMA kept its prices firm throughout the quarter that consequently influenced the prices of PMMA in this quarter. In the European market PMMA demand and supply appeared volatile influenced by the global economic conditions. Thus, PMMA market showcased mixed sentiments in this quarter depending upon the inventories level and the demand fundamentals.
For the Quarter Ending June 2021
Supply in North American improved during the second quarter of 2021, owing to the restoration of the industrial infrastructure of the US Gulf Coast. However, limited production of feedstock Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) along with the production and transport disruptions further extended the tightness in the regional market. Whereas the demand remained exceptional as the region observed a seasonal hike in offtakes from the downstream building and construction sector throughout the second quarter. Due to supply demand imbalance, prices remained buoyed since the mid of the second quarter with FOB Texas discussions in June reaching USD 3070.
Asia Pacific region experienced tight supply during the second quarter of 2021, owing to the turnaround in several capacities throughout the region. Thai MMA and Mitsubishi Chemicals Singapore curtailed the availability of the upstream MMA. Whereas in India, buyers were reluctant to procure higher volumes of PMMA as the region was severely impacted with the second COVID wave which strengthened the uncertainties in the domestic market in the first half of the quarter. As a repercussion prices in India continuously observed a downtrend amidst ample inventory level and subdued offtakes with Ex-Work Mumbai prices reaching USD 2912 per tonne in June.
Overall outlook pf PMMA market in the European region remain constrained in the second quarter of 2021. A major supplier in Middle East declared force majeure in its feedstock MMA capacity affecting the overall supply fundamentals. In mid-June Roehm announced the turnaround on MMA facility, due to the technical issue at its Worms site in Germany. Demand outlook remained firm from the downstream cement and coating industries as the region observed a seasonal hike from the building and construction activities in Northwest Europe.
For the Quarter Ending March 2021
The North American PMMA market was extremely tight during the first as the region faced several plant shutdowns amid severe freeze weather conditions in the USA Gulf region, causing shortages of the key feedstock MMA in the region. Exports to other regions were severely impacted as the supply-demand gap widened in Q1 2021. Demand got hampered as the automotive sector reduced the production amid the shortages of key raw materials due to winter storm, followed by decline in consumption from the end-use industries. Due to the supply shortages, FOB Shanghai prices of PMMA spiked to USD 3290/MT in early March.
PMMA supplies in the region were tight during the first quarter of 2021, as the several producers halted their production over the shortage of feedstock MMA, followed by the plant turnarounds due to Chinese lunar New Year holidays which started on Feb. 12. Further reduction in distribution was observed amid the low production levels and turnaround season which significantly impacted the export segment of the APAC region. Demand in the region was balanced throughout the quarter as offtakes were healthy from the recovering automotive sector.
Supplies were balanced in the first quarter of 2021. Traded volumes were lower amidst hindrance in supply chains of the key feedstock MMA due to the transportation lag in the northwest European region. Furthermore, skyrocketing prices of MMA proportionally impacted the PMMA prices. Demand surged as the offtakes improved from all the downstream end uses especially from the improving automotive and construction sector in the European region.
For the Quarter Ending September 2020
The Chinese PMMA market was seen turning bullish as a combined effect of tight regional supply, firmer feedstock and improved sentiments in the domestic market. Supply of feedstock MMA remained exceptionally tight in lieu of a prolonged turnaround period in Asia starting from August, which is anticipated to last till November. Two MMA plants of Sumitomo Chemical, one in Singapore and other in Japan, were taken off stream for about a month due to maintenance related issues. Several other players located in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea announced force majeures in their MMA units in the forthcoming quarter. The overall demand of PMMA remained almost stable in Q3 with China lending strong support, particularly from the automotive and electronics sector. Prices were hovering in the range of USD 1370-1410 per tonne CFR southeast after staying unusually stable during first half of the quarter.
The American PMMA market struggled to revive during the third quarter owing to dented dynamics in the United States. Producers in the region reported suppressed quarterly performance weighed under dampened auto sales and disruptions in services caused due to seasonal storms. PMMA second-quarter contracts were settled at a rollover, with traders maintaining a balance between higher demand from the transparent sheet sector, and poor MMA/PMMA margins.
PMMA supply remained lengthened during Q3, with no supply-side issues observed across the European market. Arkema, one of the top three producers of the resins in Europe and North America, reported a sharp rise in its quarter-on-quarter financials buoyed by improved PMMA sales with an inclining automotive demand. However, the demand for PMMA protective screens, which hit unprecedented highs in Q2 was seen easing in Q3 with substantial recovery observed in other end-uses (such as construction and automotive). September contract prices settled at an increase after maintaining stagnancy due to firming MMA.