09 September 2009 21:13 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) price ideas for September were far apart as the market awaited final settlement of feedstock paraxylene (PX) contracts, US buyers and sellers said on Wednesday.
Buyers agreed that September contract prices would increase from August, but said the increment could be anywhere between 1-3 cents/lb ($22-66/tonne).
One major buyer said it had already settled September PET at the nominated 3-cent increase over August, while another said it was holding out for the PX settlement and expected a 1.0-1.5 cent/lb contract gain.
Most August contracts were priced in the mid-60s cents/lb, buyers and sellers said.
Negotiations over US PX contracts continued into the second week of September, long after contracts in Europe and Asia rolled over from August at €760/tonne ($1,101/tonne) and $1,040/tonne, respectively.
The lower PET increase was widely anticipated and could become a reality if US PX contracts are unchanged from August, a producer said.
Such a scenario would mean only gains from monoethylene glycol (MEG), PET’s second key feedstock, would impact the September production cost.
Contract prices for MEG, which in the US is often referenced without the prefix mono-, increased by 3-4 cents/lb to the mid 30s cents/lb. September MEG contracts were nominated higher by 5-6 cents/lb.
Seasonal demand factors in the US PET market make the second and third quarters the busiest time for bottled beverage consumption, but resin demand traditionally begins easing in the mid-to-late third quarter.
In 2009, demand has remained stable into September, although raw material costs have levelled off after moving higher in recent months, a US supplier said.
With the upward price pressure on PET beginning to ease, additional price hikes would be difficult beyond the September contract, the supplier added.
US PET producers include Dak, Eastman, Indorama, Invista, Mossi & Ghisolfi, Nanya and Wellman.
($1 = €0.69)
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