04 April 2012 03:45 [Source: ICIS news]
DUBAI (ICIS)--The Middle East polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle grade chip spot market is likely to remain uncertain in the near future because of volatile feedstock markets and weak demand despite the approach of peak season, a key regional trader said late on Tuesday.
The trader was speaking to ICIS at the sidelines of the 3rd Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Plastics Summit.
"[The GCC region] has been seeing three months of flat demand in the first quarter of the year although the converters traditionally return to the spot market to stock up for peak demand season in mid-March," said the trader who wished not to be named.
"[The PET spot market] is so complicated now that there are too much variances influencing the spot prices...It is like a casino now," he added.
Traditionally, the Middle Eastern market sees improving buying activities in March and welcomes the first boom in demand in April, when summer season kicks in.
The trader pointed out that there is "no season, no benchmark" right now in the PET spot market.
"Players are hoping for an improvement somewhere in Q2 but nothing is guaranteed," he said.
It is very difficult for the trading companies to take any positions right now and sales in the month of April were never so slow in the past 10 years, according to the trader.
"[The PET prices] had to go up, there has to be some push factors somewhere," the trader said.
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