South Korea Methyl Methacrylate

South Korea Methyl Methacrylate Market: South Korea’s Growing Use and Production of Methyl Methacrylate


Introduction to South Korea Methyl Methacrylate Market

Methyl methacrylate (MMA) is an organic compound that is a colorless, volatile liquid with a characteristic pleasant odor. The molecular formula of MMA is C5H8O2 and its molar mass is 100.12 g/mol. In the chemical industry, MMA is mainly used as a monomer in the production of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) which is a transparent thermoplastic commonly known by various trade names such as Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucite among others. Some other uses of MMA include its application as a surface coating, adhesive, binder in various formulations and a chemical intermediate for production of other useful derivatives.

Growing Demand and Production in South Korea Methyl Methacrylate Market

South Korea has witnessed a steady growth in the demand and production of Methyl Methacrylate over the past few decades. As one of the leading producers of PMMA sheets and other plastics worldwide, there is a strong demand for MMA as its primary building block monomer. Key end use industries driving MMA consumption in South Korea include automotive, construction, electronics, signs & displays. The per capita plastic consumption in South Korea is among the highest globally which further stimulates the polymer and chemical industries in the country. Several multi-national chemical companies have set up MMA production facilities in South Korea to capitalize on the growing local market.

In 2020, South Korea’s total MMA production capacity was estimated to be over 800,000 tons per year. The key MMA manufacturers include Kumho P&B Chemicals, LG Chem, Idemitsu Kosan and Lotte Chemical. These companies operate sizable petrochemical facilities with cracker units that provide raw material propylene for producing MMA via the acrylic acid or acetone cyanohydrin routes. South Korean exports of MMA to other Asian countries as well as to Europe and North America have also increased in recent years to balance supply and demand dynamics.

Environmental and Safety Regulations

With increasing MMA production volumes, the South Korean government has strengthened environmental and industrial safety regulations for chemical facilities over the past decade. MMA being a volatile organic compound is designated as a pollutant under the country’s air quality standards. Rigorous emissions monitoring and restrictions are in place for MMA manufacturing plants. There are also strict wastewater discharge limits for process effluents containing even trace amounts of residual MMA.

The facilities producing and handling MMA have to abide by rules for preventing accidental releases, ensuring adequate ventilation, process and personnel safety protocols. Transportation and storage of MMA is regulated to minimize risks of tank leaks, tanker accidents etc. Workers exposed to liquid or vapor forms of MMA require proper personal protective equipment and health monitoring programs. Strong enforcement of such comprehensive regulations by the ministry of environment and ministry of employment & labor aims to balance the growth of chemical industry with protection of communities and ecology.

Future Outlook

As the fourth largest economy in Asia, South Korea is expected to continue its rapid industrialization and manufacturing growth trajectory over the coming years. This bodes well for the expanding demand of MMA and other petrochemical intermediates in sectors such as construction, automotive, electronics along with rising consumption of MMA based plastics in packaging and consumer goods industries.


In Summary, the per capita plastic use is forecast to increase further by 2030. Meanwhile, South Korean chemical majors are investing in developing newer applications and downstream derivatives of MMA to enhance domestic value addition from this important commodity monomer. While upholding stringent environmental norms, the MMA production capacity in South Korea could surpass 1 million tons annually by 2025 to match the rising polymer production levels within the country and for exports.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it