15 February 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The cost of producing purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in Europe increased by €10/tonne ($13/tonne) from January to February on Friday, according to calculations made with the upstream paraxylene (PX) contract price.
This takes the February PTA reference price to €974-1,004/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe), according to data from ICIS. Other than a blip in December, the value of PX and therefore, PTA, has been increasing since August 2012.
A reduction in the fee over conversion costs, that is paid by downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers, resulted in January ICIS prices only moving up by €5/tonne to €964-994/tonne.
PET has been on a similar upward journey to its feedstocks, but the margins have been squeezed to unhealthy levels. PET prices are now firmly over €1,300/tonne FD Europe.
PX contracts rose by €15/tonne from January to February, taking it to €1,260/tonne FD NWE.
PTA remains quite long in Europe, sources agreed.
"I would be surprised if anyone is running at full rates in Europe," a producer said.
($1 = €0.75)
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