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The African Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Market Forecast to Grow at a CAGR of 2.9% a Year in 2018-2023

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According to a recently published report about the African methyl methacrylate (MMA) market, it was equal to 18 thousand tons in 2013. The largest country market within the region was South Africa, which in 2013 accounted for a share of 55% of the total in volume terms. Until 2023, the African market is forecast to reach around 25 thousand tons, thus growing at a CAGR of about 2.9% per annum in the period 2018-2023. This is a slight slowdown, compared to the growth at a CAGR of around 3.9% per year, registered in 2013-2017.

The analytical research projects that there is likely to be no African production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in the medium term. As a result, the overall installed production capacities in the region are expected to stay flat. In addition, the market is forecast to remain relatively unbalanced in terms of supply and demand, also showing moderately mixed dynamics in the medium term.

In the recent years, methyl methacrylate has seen increase of its application areas. Even though the chemical is used as plastic additive and surface coating, MMA is mainly used as a raw material for PMMA, which is rising in demand in the automotive, construction, and electronics industries. In the automotive and construction industries, PMMA is widely used as a lightweight alternative to glass. The increasing demand for lightweight automotive components to improve fuel efficiency & reduce carbon emissions has been prompting demand for PMMA in the sector. Geographically, Asia represents one of the largest markets for MMA, as a result of its high demand in countries such as China, South Korea, India and Malaysia, homes to some of the major electronics and automotive companies of the world. As for Europe, the market is a net importer of MMA and is highly dependent on Asia for its imports and subsequently for its growth.

When it comes to corporate restructurings, most of the large companies within the chemical industry have been following the principle “small is better than big” over the past few years. Renown companies such as Dow Chemicals, BASF, Bayer among others have been looking at divesting as a strategic tool, allowing them to focus on specific businesses. Particularly on the methyl methacrylate market, Evonik Industries struck a deal for 3.4 billion USD in 2019 to sell its methacrylate business to the private equity firm Advent International. The transaction is part of the company’s strategy to focus on less cyclical specialty chemicals. The sale includes methyl methacrylate, polymethyl methacrylate (MMA/PMMA) operations among others.

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