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SubjectAcrylic World Newsletter-Apr. 2018
Published Date2018/3/31
Content

MARKET OVERVIEW
In April, as a result of several MMA plants scheduled shut down and production problem with low operation rate of SAMAC α process 250kpta MMA plant at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia (JV of Mitsubishi Chemical (MCC), and Sabic), MMA supply in Asia continues being tight and pushing up MMA prices by US$50~100 pmt for April shipment. In America, it’s heard that Lucite Memphis unexpectedly shut down due to outage of upstream HCN supply, and Unigel has production problem in South America. In Europe, MCC group Lucite International 200kpta MMA plant at Cassel, UK shut down for few months’ maintenance in February, and Evonik 225kpta MMA plant at Worms, Germany, scheduled shut down a week for maintenance in April. As a result, China MMA prices were rising strongly on the back of limited liquidity on tight supply, owing to less MMA cargos imported for ADD issues and reduction of production rate of several plants for environmental issue. MMA producers were struggling with low inventories, and compelled to raise the price, along with allocating MMA quantity to regular customer for April shipment. For MMA feedstock price, crude oil prices were rebounding, pushing Naphtha prices increased to US$580~600 pmt. Acetone prices continued declining to US$610~630 pmt, methanol prices stabled at US$370~390 pmt. Propylene prices dropped to US$1,060~1,080 pmt. MTBE prices rebounded to US$740~780 pmt. On the demand side, strong downstream market sentiment from ABS/artificial marble and bullish demand from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), general-purpose (GP), and light guide panels (LGP) grade fuel MMA market prices up in April. MMA prices for 500 mt above isotank order were settled in the range of US$2,850 ~ $2,950 pmt CFR for April shipment. The outlook for May price remains upward, and the sufficient MMA supply is the key issue to stabilize MMA prices.


NORTH ASIA
In North Asia, China domestic demand surged recently against the backdrop of limited MMA supply, which is owing to the schedule shutdown and less imported MMA available as China government has decided to increase MMA antidumping duties (ADD) issue from Singapore (Lucite International Singapore 6.7% to 10.7% and Sumitomo Chemical Singapore 14.5% to 30.6%), Thailand (Tai MMA Co., Ltd. 15.2% to 32.6% and PTT Asahi Chmeical Company Limited 11.1% to 32.6%) and Japan( Mitsubishi Rayon Co., Ltd. 14.6% to 34.8%, Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation 12.3% to 34.8%, Sumitomo Chemical company Limited 13.4% to 34.8%; Kuraray Co., Ltd/Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co., Inc. and Mistui Chemical, Inc.. same as 34.6%). MMA prices boosted RMB 1000~2000 pmt with values hovering around RMB 20,500~21,500 pmt DDP. It’s heard that Shandong Hongxu Chemical 75kpta MMA plant in Shandong scheduled shut down from 22 th March, Lucite International 182kpta MMA plant in Shanghai shut down for machine maintenance from 20th March, and Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical 85kpta MMA plant in Jiangsu unexpectedly shut down on 19th March. In Japan, tight MMA supply compelled Japanese MMA producers sell MMA under allocated basis in April. In South Korea, domestic demand remains healthy. The dawn of peace between North and South Korea will drive up Korean Peninsula economy in the future. Domestic MMA prices were offered at Korean Won 2,950~3,050/kg DEL. In Taiwan, domestic market remains tight and local MMA supplier has announced NT$1/kg increase in April. Prevailing MMA prices were NT$78 ~ NT$81/kg DDP.
The downstream of general purpose (GP) polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) announced US$50~100/mt increment in view of higher feedstock MMA costs. The spot polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) prices in China were around US$3,000-$3,100/mt CFR.
 
SOUTH ASIA
MMA supply in South East Asia continues to be tight against the backdrop of MMA cargo availability. Most cast sheet makers continued running at low operation owing to short of MMA supply. In Indonesia, domestic market remains stable. In Vietnam, most cast sheet makers complained that high MMA costs resulted in margin squeeze and couldn’t reflect to end user, however the MMA offtake didn't slow down on the back of tight MMA supply. In Thailand, domestic market demand shows decline before “Songkran Water Festival”, and all cast sheet factories will curtail their output for one week as the annual holiday “Songkran Festival” will start from 13th to 16th of April. In Singapore, it's heard that a major MMA plant scheduled shut down for routine maintenance during April to May. In India, surge MMA domestic market demand and tight MMA supply boosted MMA prices and MMA prices settled at US$2,950~3,050/mt for May shipment.
On the acrylic sheet side, the cast sheet prices were range at US$3.5~3.6/kg CFR Asia.

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