The manufacture of MMA consumed 1.8% of the 98.3 million metric tons of methanol produced in 2019. MMA is the commercially prominent member of the chemical family of methacrylic esters, which are typically monomers used in the polymerization to acrylic plastics. Methacrylate polymers are prized for their clarity, colorability, color compatibility, weatherability, and ultraviolet light stability, which allow them to be used for both indoor and outdoor applications. These plastics are generally mature in their development, but continue to find unique applications which support their growth.

MMA Derivative

Polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA)


Impact resistant glass replacement ("organic" glass)

Molded / extruded goods (e.g. car tail lights)

MMA-Styrene-Butadiene ter-polymers PVC impact modifiers

Growth in MMA demand typically follows gasoline demand growth on a global basis. Asia accounts for more than half of world supply and demand and China more than half of Asian demand. Global growth in MTBE demand will predominantly be in China. 

MMA can be made from a variety of different production technologies, with the predominant commercial method utilizing a C3 process. Other, more competitive processes have been developed with isobutylene and ethylene. MMSA maintains economic snapshots of MMA production costs. 

MMA trade is currently characterized by imports into China, Korea, Taiwan as well as a number of SEA countries. Japan and Southeast Asia are major exporters. China is a dominant MMA importer. The US is a net exporter of MMA. PMMA and other MMA derivatives that are also traded in large quantities, typically as part of prefabricated parts made in developed countries. A trade matrix showing MMA trade by MMSA region and country listings can be provided to clients separately.

MMSA maintains a detailed global database of MMA producers and consumers, as well as global supply and demand balances and forecasts through 2050. It has provided one-off, proprietary studies into this global industry and specific companies operating within it. MMSA can assist companies or financial institutions with existing investments or looking to make future investments in this industry. MMSA can provide an efficient and objective assessment of the outlook for that investment in several forms: 

 Market (Supply and Demand) Analysis 

    • Price Outlook / Margin Analysis 
    • Technology Review 
    • Valuation 
    • Viability, Pre-Feasibility Assessments