producers began Q3 by asking for a 10% price increase. With feedstock costs moving little, producers based their price targets on higher fixed costs. Over Q3 as a whole they have managed to lift POM prices by around €150/tonne.
POM supply was well balanced with limited volumes of imported material around while suppliers were limiting export business. Homopolymer material is more readily available than the copolymer grades. BASF's POM plant was yet to resume full operation at the end of September following annual maintenance. Ticona's relocation plan forced the company to put its customers on allocation.
Order intake was lively during Q3 with particularly strong sales to automotive and also to E&E converters, due mainly to booming demand from the building industry.
Suppliers may well ask for higher POM prices during Q4 to cover rises in methanol and energy costs.
PMMA producers announced planned price increases of €350/tonne for sheet and €120/tonne for moulding compounds at the start of Q3 to cover a sharp rise in the cost of MMA monomer. Producers were not, however, entirely successful in meeting their target. PMMA extrusion prices were up by around €100/tonne at the bottom end of the scale.
Material availability tightened during most of Q3 as a result of global shortage of acrylates and suppliers have retained a policy of customer allocation. There were virtually no volumes of imported material available.
The automotive sector led a continued recovery in demand for transparent grades. Other lively sectors included solar energy applications, sanitary and greenhouse sheet.
Significant price increases can be expected in Q4 with major producers asking for a €250/tonne rise.