S Korea's Lotte Chemical hikes February PIA prices by $150/tonne

24 January 2013 06:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp will implement a $150/tonne (€113/tonne) price increase for its purified isophthalic acid (PIA) next month, citing record high raw material cost and low inventory, a company source said on Thursday.

The company’s PIA prices will be $1,800-1,850/tonne CFR (cost & freight) China, effective 1 February, the source said.

Spot prices of feedstock isomer grade xylene averaged $1,387/tonne in January, representing an 8% gain from November 2012, according to ICIS.

Over the same period, Lotte Chemical’s PIA prices declined by 3%, the company source said.

PIA end-users, mainly the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle chip makers, however, are not inclined to accept higher prices because of squeezed margins and poor demand.

The months of December, January and February are traditionally the lull season for PET bottle chip demand in the northern hemisphere.

“We are in no hurry to buy more PIA. We have comfortable stocks and demand is to slow down during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday,” said a major Jiangsu-based PET bottle chip maker.

China will be on a week-long holiday on 9-15 February.

PIA is used as a modifier in downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-grade resins and as an additive in unsaturated polyester resins (UPR), coatings and low melting fibre (LMF).

($1 = €0.75)

By: Becky Zhang
+65 6780 4359

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