Insights of Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Market in Global Industry Development and Forecast to 2025

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is an important acid ester, which is a colorless monomer compound. The most important use of MMA is in the manufacture of poly-methyl methacrylate (PMMA). PMMA is a transparent thermoplastic used as a shatter-resistant option to glass. Due to its excellent tensile strength, flexural strength, transparency, polishing, UV tolerance, and scratch resistance properties, PMMA is used in the form of sheets to produce mobile phone screens, LCD screens, and monitors. The tendency to leach components and shrink over a period of time, as a result of curing, are some of the major disadvantages of MMA. The major growth driver for the MMA market, is the robust demand for PMMA, as a result of strong electronics production. The wide-scale application of MMA are used across various fields such as construction, remodeling activity, automotive applications, and electronics, hence qualifying MMA as a very important component. However, the recent shortage of supply in MMA, has affected the production of PMMA, in turn affecting the global MMA market.  Methyl methacrylate is found to irritate the human skin, inducing skin related issues in vulnerable individuals, hence the use of gloves is recommended while handling MMA.

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The most important source of MMA production is through acetone cyanohydrins, which is hydrolyzed with sulfuric acid to manufacture MMA. It is used in vehicles as windshields, and external, rear and indicator light covers. Methacrylic Acid (MAA) is used as a chemical intermediary as well as in the production of coating polymers. Manufacturers utilize the PMMA as a shatterproof alternative to glass in illuminated signs. As PMMA is light and resistant to salt, it is used for the construction of windows in the marine industry. It is used to produce canopies for planes, due to its light weight and temperature, and unsurpassed weather resistance. PMMA is also used in the production of sports equipment such as racquets, helmets..

Methyl Methacrylate Market Outlook

Asia Pacific represents the largest market for MMA, as a result of its high demand in countries such as China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea, which are house some of the major electronic companies of the world. Hence, the MMA market in Asia Pacific is set to retain Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing PMMA market, in terms of both value and volume, and is expected to retain its leading position due to its immense future potential.

In North America, USA represents the biggest MMA consumer market. The presence of various automotive and electronic companies are the main reasons for high demand for the MMA market in this region. However the US market is currently hit by a shortage of supply in MMA.

The increasing infrastructure and development in the Middle East has led to an increase in the demand for MMA in this region. Joint ventures and consolidation of major industry players, with regional manufacturers are expected to boost the MMA market positively, in this region. The growth of the construction market in various developing counties of Africa has provided the MMA market with ample growth opportunities here.

The availability of disposable income in Latin American countries, has led to an increasing demand for automobiles, electronics, and the development of the housing sector in these countries.

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The decrease in the production of MMA in Asia has adversely affected the MMA market in Europe, as Europe is a net importer of MMA and is highly dependent on Asia for its imports. Hence the MMA market in Europe is sluggish and depends on Asia for its growth.

Saudi Methacrylates Company (SAMAC), located in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia, constructed a methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant, which is the biggest plant in the world.  SAMAC is a joint venture (JV) between Mitsubishi Rayon (MRC) and Sabic, which was commissioned early in 2017. Major players in the market include Mistsubishi, Rayon, Evonik Industries, The Dow chemical Company, Sumitomo chemicals, BASF, Arkema, and Chi Mei Corporation among others.

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