Europe August PTA up by €21/tonne due to feedstock costs

28 August 2009 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) August contract prices have moved up by €21/tonne ($30/tonne) from July due to increased feedstock costs, sources said on Friday.

“In August we saw between a rollover and plus €5/tonne [over the feedstock paraxylene (PX) pass-through],” a buyer said.

European producers, of which there are now only two majors, had been trying to widen the gap over paraxylene with one confirming that this had been successful by up to €10/tonne in some cases.

“PX increased by €32/tonne, so that’s €21/tonne onto PTA, and we were trying to get an average of a rollover to plus €10/tonne of the pass-through,” according to a producer.

August PX increased to €760/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) from July’s €728/tonne, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

PTA prices settled at €703-731/tonne in August compared with July’s €682-710/tonne. Consolidation among downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers in Europe and availability of PTA imports resulted in a relatively balanced PTA market, sources said.

“The PTA market in August was tighter than before, and buyers were having to import material from elsewhere to cover needs,” said a customer.

The loss of Artenius’ Wilton site in the UK was pushing buyers to look elsewhere for product, they said.

“Demand was quite acceptable during the month of August. The latest news of Wilton being structurally down on PET and PTA has shaken the market a bit, so customers [PET producers] have increased their operating rates in northern Europe,” the producer said.

Discussions were under way for September PTA pricing, and sellers said they were targeting €10/tonne increases over the September cost of PX, according to industry players.

European PET and PTA sources said they were expecting to see a rollover or a slight increase in September PX pricing.

($1 = €0.70)

Mark Victory contributed to this story
For more on PET, PTA and PX visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit ICIS connect

By: Caroline Howard
+44 20 8652 3214

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