EPCA ’10: Asia EG demand growth drives up prices - MEGlobal

04 October 2010 16:32  [Source: ICIS news]

BUDAPEST (ICIS)--A wave of demand in Asia has sparked higher ethylene glycol (EG) prices, an executive with MEGlobal said on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 44th European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting in Budapest, Hungary, Frank Hanraets, vice president commercial of MEGlobal, said the demand was driven a resurgence in polyester and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production, particularly in China, India and Pakistan.

“After a lean and difficult period, the polyester industry is making money,” said Hanraets. “At this stage, we need to make sure that the consumers can rely on supplies.

“This is the moment they can actually capture the value that they have because they are making money,” he continued. “So it is MEGlobal’s business to make sure we are that reliable supplier.”

MEGlobal nominated a $40/tonne (€29/tonne) increase in its October EG Asian Contract Price (ACP) from September. The company cited higher demand in nominating $910/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Asia.

China's demand for EG and related products has jumped 15% this year to date, Hanraets said.

“China will actually do more than 9m tonnes of glycol in 2010,” said Hanraets. “The good thing is I believe this demand is sustainable…because it is for domestic consumption” of polyester fibres and PET.

“Basically, if everybody in China buys a new shirt, it really will be quite a lot,” said Hanraets. “And these people have quite a lot of money to spend these days.”

China has 1.3bn people and accounts for 43% of global demand for EG and related products, he said. In comparison, India has 1.2bn people but only consumes 1.5m tonnes/year of glycols, he said, “so the growth potential growth there is enormous.”

This year's EPCA meeting runs from 2-6 October.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on monoethylene glycol visit ICIS chemical intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Brian Ford
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