Global MMA demand recovery growth

Recently, according to the analysis of several world leading Methyl methacrylate (MMA) producers and S&P Global Commodity Insight, the global MMA market is recovering its growth after the demand and price hit the bottom in 2022.

According to S&P Global data, the global MMA demand will be about 3.82 million tons in 2022, slightly lower than the 3.83 million tons in 2021. According to S&P Global’s Chemical Economics Manual (CEH) – MMA, after a slight decline in demand last year, it is expected that MMA demand will resume growth at an average annual growth rate of 3.6% from 2022 to 2027, and it is expected that the demand will reach 4.5 million tons in 2027. According to the report, PMMA will account for 63% of global MMA consumption in 2022. Major MMA manufacturers also supported the expected growth in demand in their latest financial reports, and early signs of market recovery are expected to strengthen in the second half of 2023.

According to CEH data, Mitsubishi Chemical is the world’s largest MMA producer, with a production capacity of 1.17 million tons/year, accounting for over 20% of the global total production capacity. Mitsubishi Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Yuko Nakai stated at the annual performance briefing that MMA demand will show a mild improvement in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024. Mitsubishi’s MMA sales for the fiscal years 2023-2004 are expected to increase by 13.7 billion yen year-on-year, and product prices are showing a recovery trend after bottoming out at the end of the previous fiscal year. Mitsubishi Chemical mentioned that as the world’s largest MMA consumer, China’s demand has shown signs of recovery.

MMA manufacturer Shengxiao stated that the operating environment has improved and production costs are decreasing. Frank Bozich, CEO of Shengxiao Company, stated in the company’s first quarter performance report that its engineering materials business was affected by the narrowing of MMA related gross profit in the current quarter. The significant decrease in MMA’s profit margin is due to the force majeure of its main suppliers’ ammonia supply and the hedging impact of the continuous decline in natural gas prices. He said, “As our ammonia suppliers resume production, input costs will significantly decrease in the second quarter, and it is expected that the impact of natural gas hedging will be significantly reduced in the second quarter.” In January of this year, Shengxiao incurred a non cash impairment charge of $297 million, mainly related to its PMMA business and Aristech Surfaces PMMA sheet business acquired in 2021. Bozich said, “Although we still face challenges in the near future, we are still very optimistic about these businesses

Sumitomo Chemical is the world’s fourth largest MMA producer, with a capacity of 379000 tons/year. The company stated that its MMA business performed “exceptionally difficult” in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023. However, Keiichi Iwata, president of Sumitomo Chemical, said in the company’s performance briefing about MMA’s current low profit environment that this abnormal trend will not continue.

CEH stated that, like many chemicals, the recovery of MMA depends on the recovery of the Chinese market. China’s share of global MMA demand in 2022.

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