News Releases

Sumitomo Chemical to Newly Establish MMA Division

Feb. 25, 2022

Sumitomo Chemical has decided to establish a new MMA Division as of April 1, 2022, to strengthen its MMA business, which includes MMA (methyl methacrylate) monomer and acrylic resin (PMMA, polymethyl methacrylate). The new division will take charge of strategy formulation and global marketing and sales for the business as a whole.

MMA monomer is mainly used as a raw material for manufacturing acrylic resin, and is also used in various applications, such as paints and coating agents. Acrylic resin is a high value-added resin that possesses outstanding transparency that most plastics cannot match, in addition to excellent weatherability and processibility, and has found a wide range of applications, including automotive tail lamp covers and side visors, electrical appliances, aquariums, outdoor signboards, liquid crystal displays, building materials, and protective partition panels to reduce the spread of droplets. In 2020, the global annual demand for MMA monomer reached 3 million tons, and 1.3 million tons for acrylic resin, and is expected to grow steadily at approximately 3% per year, mainly in emerging market countries. In addition, acrylic resin is attracting attention as its chemical recycling is expected to gain traction going forward because it can be efficiently converted back to MMA monomer through depolymerization*1.

The Sumitomo Chemical Group has positioned its MMA business as a priority segment in its Petrochemicals & Plastics Sector, and is engaged in integrated operations, from MMA monomer to acrylic resin and sheets. The Group produces MMA monomer at three locations in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, with a total production capacity of 400,000 tons per year, and has the fourth largest market share in the world. It also produces acrylic resin, mainly in Singapore, with an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons. The Group’s revenues from the MMA business have been growing as it has been expanding the scale of its operations in response to increasing demand, while, at the same time, providing differentiated products, such as automobile interior and exterior materials that achieve long-term weatherability and scratch resistance without compromising the design, and materials for automobile rear lamp covers that are large, horizontal, thin, and lightweight.

In the meantime, as the world has begun working toward achieving carbon neutrality, the environment surrounding the petrochemical business, including the MMA business, is changing drastically and going through a transitional period in which unprecedented technologies and markets are emerging. Under these circumstances, Sumitomo Chemical is advancing new initiatives for acrylic resin, which contributes to weight reduction by replacing glass and metals. For instance, the Company is working on the development of acrylic resin materials with new functions and the construction of a pilot facility for chemical recycling of acrylic resin. These efforts are led primarily by the teams of its Ehime site in Japan, where it has a strong research capability. In addition, the Group has established a global sales network overseas, mainly in Asia. With the establishment of the new MMA Division, the Company will shift its strategy for the MMA business from a phase of focusing on optimization according to regional characteristics to an integrated global strategy for managing all product groups and regions holistically, with the aim of further developing the business with an eye to the future.

Sumitomo Chemical is committed to creating new value by building on innovation, as set out in its Business Philosophy. The Company will continue to work as one to create both economic value and social value in an integrated manner, achieving sustained growth and contributing to building a sustainable society.

*1 A polymer decomposes to form a monomer.

Organization of the MMA Business

Global MMA Operations

*2 Equity method affiliate


Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Dept.