Our local representatives in the methacrylates field together with our world-class business systems and global presence mean we’re in the best possible position to help our customers and industry partners understand the marketplace and its dynamics.

Here, Jay Smith, USA Monomers Business Director, shares his latest views and insight (as of October 2019).

What is your view of the demand for methacrylates and what are the factors behind this?

The demand for the Americas region is more relaxed than it has been over the last two years, during which time the market was experiencing significant growth spikes. The majority of the driver for this change was from the sheet sector where demand growth has been slower than past average run rate. The global economy has slowed down, and this seems to be affecting the sheet segmentin the US more than in other segments. The coatings segment continues to grow above GDP growth and is continuing to experience success even with a slower economy.

Can you describe the impact that the planned and unplanned production outages that have been observed in the Americas this year have had onthe market place?

The unplanned and planned outages in the Americas Region have not had a significant impact on customers. This is because MCC operates a global supply chain and manages supply from our 12 global assets for the support and optimisation of our network. As already observed, demand has been more relaxed than it has been over the last two years which has also added some flexibility to the supply plan.

Can you explain what Lucite International (LI) is doing to support customers in North America in the short and also the longer term?

LI has commissioned two new shipping terminals, one of which is in the northeast United States and the other in the Midwest United States. LI has instituted a more sustainable supply chain practice in line with our KAITEKI principles. We ship large volumes by water to these two terminals reducing emissions and fuel from previous long-range truck shipments. From the terminals, we can reach a significant number of customers with shorter truck transit times. The inventory and supply chain to these terminals provides added security of supply for our customer base. LI is constantly searching for ways to improve service while maintaining sustainable operating practices.