18 November 2011 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The October contract price of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in Europe has increased by €13/tonne ($18/tonne), in line with developments in upstream paraxylene (PX), sources said on Friday.
PTA rose to €995-1,017/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe) in October, just after PX increased by €20/tone, according to data from ICIS.
The October price rise could be the last in the quarter. According to typical feedstock calculations, November PTA prices are set to drop by €60/tonne to €935-957/tonne.
Industry players are anticipating further weakening upstream for December, and this is likely to affect the price of PTA.
“Prices are expected to be lower in December than in November. If PX is lower, PTA will be lower,” according to a PTA producer.
Demand for PTA have been reduced as a result of weakness in downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET). However, an element of pre-buying among PET customers led to some higher PET operating rates in November.
Some PTA is being exported, and recent shutdowns have helped maintain an element of balance between supply and demand. However, most commentators still say there is length in the market.
($1 = €0.74)
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