Europe PET producers revise down targeted price increases

10 September 2009 16:16  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers in Europe have revised down their September targeted price increases because of lower-than-expected feedstock prices and developments in Asia, sources said on Thursday.

“We revised [the targeted increase of €100/tonne ($145/tonne) to plus €40-50/tonne], because of raw materials and because of reductions in Asia,” a producer confirmed.

Increases of up to €100/tonne from August were originally on the table from producers.

Domestic values in August consolidated to €930-980/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

If sellers were to succeed in their push for an increase, customers would have to try to pass this onto their consumers, a task that few would relish.

“We have to switch the price increase to our customers. We can’t take on ourselves increases in raw material. The situation is difficult,” a customer said.

September has traditionally been a difficult month to increase the price of PET, as it marks the end of the high summer season for bottlers.

The view of demand varied among market sources.

“Demand is flat or decreasing [in the sheet market]. It is stable, but there is a huge pressure to decrease prices,” said a buyer.

Several industry buyers said that bottlers were suffering more than those in the sheet or film-extrusion sector. Sellers disagreed with this.

“Bottlers are doing very well compared to expectations. Consumption is the same as last year,” a PET producer argued.

European paraxylene (PX), the raw material for the PET feedstock purified terephthalic acid (PTA), eventually rolled over at €760/tonne in September, following earlier forecasts that it could actually rise. This followed heavy losses in the Asian market.

PTA prices shifted up by at least €21/tonne in August. Some sources said they expected prices to remain unchanged in September following news of the September PX contract.

Asian PET bottle-chip prices remained on a downtrend through early September as market sentiment was dampened by volatility in the upstream markets, where both PTA and monoethylene glycol (MEG) prices softened.

MEG in Europe remained tight and producers continued in their efforts to increase prices by up to €95/tonne from the August contract price of €615/tonne.

($1 = €0.69)

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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