Polyacetal producers' calls for an ambitious price increase of €400/tonne for Q3 were largely unheeded as methanol costs stabilised and suppliers battled to retain market share at the bottom end of the price scale. There have, however, been price increases for specialty grades at the top end of the scale in the order of €80-90/tonne over the past three months.
POM demand has weakened over the past three months, particularly from the automotive sector, which takes around one-third of polyacetal production. Demand is expected to weaken further over the coming months as automakers cut production.
There is no shortage of material from local producers and availability is being swollen by a growing quantity of imported Asian copolymer grades.
The most likely outlook for the next three months is for price stability, with perhaps further small gains at the specialty end of the spectrum.
PMMA prices up but further gains may not hold
PMMA producers tabled a €200/tonne planned price hike for Q3 to cover higher MMA costs. There was also a global shortage of MMA during the late summer period. In October, producers managed to push through a large chunk of the planned rise with notations going up by €100/tonne. One producer even pushed for an additional price increase of €120/tonne, but this has not had much impression on prices so far.
The PMMA sector is well supplied from local sources, but import volumes are now lower than they were earlier in the year.
Demand has weakened over the last three months, particularly from the automotive sector, which is cutting back production due to declining car sales. Suppliers will be under pressure to hold current price levels over the next three months.