Europe PET market tightens, forcing prices up

18 July 2012 17:07  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market is short and prices are still firming, sources said on Wednesday.

"Everyone seems to be sold out because demand is up … I'm looking for a European cargo and it's difficult," a reseller said.

Offers are reported around €1,200/tonne ($1,481/tonne) FD (free delivered) and higher, which for a few customers is an increase of €100/tonne compared with early July business, according to data from ICIS.

A second reseller reported having sold four prompt trucks just over €1,260/tonne. "That's all we could get for him," he said.

At the end of June/beginning of July, prices plummeted from highs of €1,210/tonne to lows of €1,100/tonne in a week, as sellers panicked in what was an unusually quiet market. Up until now, there have been no signs of the traditional peak PET bottling season kicking in.

Once news of spikes in the value of upstream Asian paraxylene (PX) reached the European market and those sellers that dropped their PET prices had realised they overreacted, material was no longer freely available. There was suddenly more buying interest as customers who have survived hand-to-mouth for months, tried to pre-buy ahead of their holidays and likely price increases.

"Everyone seems to have sold all their material," a buyer said, adding that general market sentiment points to price increases in August.

PX prices in Asia are still on the way up.

European industry sources are now questioning how sustainable higher PET prices are, and whether or not demand will be sufficient to support the higher prices currently on offer. Discussions continue.

($1 = €0.81)

Follow Caroline on Twitter for tweets on the PET market

By: Caroline Murray
44208 652 3214

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