29 May 2012 10:04 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Novapet has shut down one of the units at its 260,000 tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Barbastro, Spain, for a week of planned maintenance, a source at the Spanish petrochemical producer confirmed on Tuesday.
Production at unit number two – which has a nameplate capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year – was halted on 27 May. The maintenance is progressing as scheduled.
A 45-day maintenance shutdown is expected to begin in September at plant number three in Barbastro, which has the capacity to produce 130,000 tonnes/year of PET. These shutdowns will not affect contract and regular deliveries to customers.
In the European PET market, softer crude prices, cheaper cotton, bad weather in Europe and poor macroeconomic conditions have resulted in bearish pricing sentiment.
Suppliers need to drop their prices to sell more product, according to customers, but the likelihood of prices falling below €1,220/tonne ($1,525/tonne) FD (free delivered) Europe – or, some say, €1,200/tonne – is remote because of production costs.
Warmer weather may prompt more sales of PET bottles, and one seller spoke of targeting increases of €20/tonne in such cases.
Some customers envisage little change in terms of prices from May to June, and the majority of players said it is too early to discuss July.
Additional reporting by Caroline Murray
($1 = €0.80)
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