The hottest ihsmarkit data shows global MMA supply

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IHS Markit data shows that the global MMA supply continues to be tight

IHS Markit data shows that the global MMA supply continues to be tight

November 1, 2018

according to the research report released by IHS Markit, a consulting agency, recently, customers do a good job in designing drawings. As market demand continues to grow, the global methyl methacrylate (MMA) supply tension is difficult to change in the short term

the global supply tension has lasted for 18 months

the global MMA supply tension has lasted for about 18 months, especially this spring, the supply tension is more prominent. In 2016, due to a series of plans to understand the basic information of horizontal tensile testing machines and unplanned downtime in Asia, the load rate of global MMA devices decreased significantly. In most of 2017, MMA in the United States also experienced a tight supply situation, mainly due to force majeure in the production of two 155000 T/a units of Lucite international. In this case, the market price of MMA rose sharply, especially in China and the United States

in the past 18 months, MMA prices in the Chinese market have been rising steadily, reaching US $2850/ton in September, and the quotation of domestic manufacturers reached 18800 yuan/ton. During the same period, Western European and American producers benefited handsomely from the sharp rise in prices. Since January 2017, the price of MMA in Europe has increased by nearly 60% to US $3058/ton (FD, northwest Europe). In the same period, the price of MMA in the United States increased by nearly 20%

from September to October, many units in Asia and the United States were scheduled to be shut down for maintenance, which led to another decline in the operating rate of MMA units this year and another tightening of market supply. According to the analysis of IHS Markit experts, the available capacity of MMA in the United States will drop to 65%, while the load rate of MMA units in Northeast Asia will drop to 80% during this period. Tight supply will lead to higher prices, and some companies seek to meet supply through internal transfer and swap commodity markets. From the perspective of the tax burden of China's small and medium-sized enterprises over the past years, the new capacity is insufficient, but from the overall level of capacity, it can make up for the supply gap caused by maintenance downtime at the end of this year

as for buyers, few people realize that the tight supply period in the market is coming, especially European buyers. In the view of European buyers, the market supply will not change significantly in the fourth quarter of each year, partly due to the decline in demand for household paint and home decoration products in the region. However, market analysts believe that the seasonal demand decline at the end of this year may be small, while other demand will continue to remain strong

the demand will continue to grow in the next five years

mma is mainly used in the production of plastics, coatings and adhesives for automotive, medical, optical and dental applications. Among them, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) accounts for about 50% of the global demand, and the second largest application is the production of paint and coatings, accounting for about 40% of the global MMA demand

according to the IHS Markit global acrylate and superabsorbent polymer (SAP) market consulting report, the global MMA demand will reach 3.7 million tons in 2018 and more than 4.3 million tons by 2023. These increases in demand mainly come from the growing demand for coatings and adhesives in China and other regions. It is predicted that the average annual growth rate of global MMA demand will be slightly higher than 3% in the next five years, while the demand growth rate in mature regions (mainly western markets) will be as high as 2%, and the demand growth rate in China is expected to be 4.5% per year

the problem of poor reliability of old assets remains to be solved

one of the reasons why the market supply continues to be so tight is that from 2012 to 2016, the MMA market oversupply caused the price to fall, making it difficult for manufacturers to maintain balance of payments. During this period, no manufacturers invested in the construction of new MMA production facilities, especially manufacturers in the United States and Western Europe. In recent years, with the improvement of market conditions, demand has not only caught up with supply, but also continued to grow. The problems of aging production facilities and insufficient investment in new facilities have been exposed. In the past 18 months, it was the planned and unplanned downtime of these old facilities that led to rising production costs and tight supply. This situation also makes it more difficult for buyers to manage supply chain costs and risks

two new facilities have been put into operation in the Middle East this year, but the impact of the new production on the market supply is very small, which is not enough to make up for the production loss caused by shutdown and overhaul in 2018. One of them is Saudi methacrylate Corporation (samac), a joint venture between Mitsubishi Chemical and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation. It began operation in Jubail industrial city, Saudi Arabia earlier this year, with an MMA capacity of 250000 tons/year and a supporting 40000 tons/year PMMA resin plant. Another MMA plant in the region is the petro Rabigh 90000 T/a MMA plant, which was commissioned this spring. Located in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, the plant is equipped with a 50000 T/a PMMA production plant

for MMA manufacturers and buyers, the biggest problem is the poor reliability of old assets. In addition, the traditional acetone route requires cyanide as raw material, and the process technology is relatively backward. In particular, cyanide is an extremely toxic chemical. Manufacturers hope to limit the use of this product and seek to develop more environmentally friendly production routes. In recent years, some new technologies have come out, such as the alpha C2 process, the ethylene raw material route developed by Lucite international, the world's largest MMA manufacturer, which does not require cyanide as raw material. In addition, Evonik, the second largest MMA manufacturer, has also developed an MMA technology using ethylene raw materials, but the company has not yet built a new device to verify its progressiveness

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