13 July 2012 07:19 [Source: ICIS news]
By Heng Hui
SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) prices in Asia may firm up in the next few months, backed by rising cost of raw materials, but the gains will likely be limited by weak demand, market sources said on Friday.
PBT values were at $2.05-2.20/kg (€1.68-1.80/kg) CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NE (northeast) Asia, and at $1.95-2.05/kg CIF ?xml:namespace>
PBT is a thermoplastic polyester produced through esterification and polycondensation of terephthalic acid and 1, 4-butanediol. Around 0.76 tonnes of PTA and 0.5 tonnes of BDO are needed to produce 1 tonne of PBT.
On 10 July, bulk butanediol (BDO) prices increased to $2,050-2,150/tonne CFR (cost and freight)
ICIS data also showed that PTA gained 5% in the week ended 6 July, bolstered by strong energy prices, firmer Chinese PTA futures and tight spot availability.
Cost factors aside, PBT prices are under pressure to fall because of continued weakness in demand amid a gloomy macroeconomic environment, market players said.
Chinese buyers are only purchasing from domestic sources, while other buyers in northeast
PBT is widely used in electronic, electrical, communications, fibre optics and automotive industries.
Taking into account dwindling consumption amid the global economic uncertainties, Chinese PBT producers are running their facilities at reduced rates, industry sources said.
“Most plants are not operating at full capacity. If we operate fully, there will be a supply glut in the market,” said a China-based producer with plants in
Some of the PBT plants were producing only on a per-order basis, he said.
Some Chinese producers decided to shut their plants for turnaround while the market is weak.
Xin Jiang Blue Ridge Tunhe Polyester’s 60,000 tonne/year natural-grade PBT plant in Xinjiang province has been shut since 15 May.
Yizheng Chemical Fibre’s 60,000 tonne/year line, which is part of its total 80,000 tonne/year PBT production capacity in
This meant that the cargoes could be repacked and sold in smaller lots than the actual freight container sizes.
ICIS is launching an Asian PBT report in mid-August and will be assessing the Indian and northeast Asian prices.
The region’s demand for PBT is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 4-5%, in line with the region’s average economic growth, with electrical applications accounting for 60-70% of the total consumption for natural grade PBT, industry sources said.
($1 = €0.82)
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