China’s polyester producers plan shutdowns as PET chip prices fall

06 June 2012 11:29  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Some Chinese polyester producers are planning to shut their plants as domestic bottle-grade PET chip prices fell below yuan (CNY) 10,000/tonne ($1,570/tonne) following declining feedstock purified terephthalic acid (PTA) costs amid increased inventories, market sources said on Wednesday.

Bottle-grade PET chip prices were at CNY9,700-9,800/tonne DEL (delivered) on 6 June, down by CNY1,200/tonne since early May, according to Chemease, an ICIS service in China.

The current downtrend in crude oil prices have weighed on paraxylene (PX) and PTA prices in China. PX is the feedstock of PTA.

PX prices fell to $1,207-1,215/tonne (€967-972/tonne) FOB (free on board) Korea on 5 June from $1,530-1,540/tonne FOB Korea on 2 May, while PTA prices fell to CNY7,300-7,350/tonne from CNY8,720-8,780/tonne in the same period, according to Chemease data.

Meanwhile, China’s bottle-grade PET chip inventories have increased by almost 60,000 tonnes over the last few weeks, leading some polyester factories to schedule shutdowns, according to company sources.

Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group plans to stop production at its 200,000 tonne/year bottle-grade PET plant at Jiangyin city in Jiangsu province next week, a company source said.

China Resources Packaging will shut its two 200,000 tonne/year plants at Changzhou for an overhaul after starting up its new 300,000 tonne/year plant at Zhuhai on 10 June, a company source said.

In the second quarter of 2012, China’s bottle-grade PET chip capacity increased by 1.13m tonnes/year from 4.63m tonnes/year in the first quarter, according to Cheamease data.

Zhejiang Wankai New Materials started up its 400,000 tonnes/year PET plant at Haining in Zhejiang province in February, while China Resources Packaging started up its 300,000 tonne/year PET bottle chip unit at Changzhou in Jiangsu province on 19 April.

Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Ltd (IVL) plans to start up its PET bottle grade chip lines in Kaiping, China’s Guangdong province, in early June.

However, demand is weak in the country. “Because of the weak macroeconomic conditions, domestic and foreign demand for beverages is not as good as estimated. So, we have slowed down our rate of purchase for bottle-grade PET chips,” an official from Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding, a key beverage producer in China, said. 

($1 = CNY6.37)
($1 = €0.80)

By: Thompson Qian

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