Europe R-PET colourless flake prices fall as availability improves

09 May 2011 15:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) colourless flake prices have dropped from a record high because of improving availability, buyers and sellers confirmed on Monday.

Colourless flake prices dropped €50/tonne ($71/tonne) this week to €1,250–1,400/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe). Colourless flake prices had been at a record high since 31 January 2011.

Supplies of colourless flake have improved because of rising post-consumer collection rates at recycling facilities.

Drinks bottles are the major source of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and cold weather limited R-PET supply during the fourth quarter of 2010 and first quarter 2011.

Cold weather limits post-consumer collection rates because fewer bottled drinks are consumed. There is a lag of about six weeks between higher temperatures and increased availability of post-consumer material and although temperatures in Europe have been rising since mid-March, the effects have only been felt in the past two weeks.

A sharp fall in virgin PET prices also supported lower colourless flake values. 

In some downstream industries, such as sheeting, virgin PET and R-PET compete on cost, with buyers able to switch between the two materials with speed and ease.

Because of wastage in the production process when using R-PET, colourless flake prices must be below virgin PET prices to remain attractive to the sheeting industry.

Virgin PET spot prices are at €1,400–1,480/tonne FD NWE.

($1 = €0.70)

Additional reporting by Caroline Murray

For more on R-PET and PET visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Mark Victory
+44 208 652 3214

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