Europe polyethylene terephthalate market remains bullish

22 February 2013 23:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The cost of producing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) keeps increasing and European manufacturers are trying to keep up the momentum of passing higher feedstock costs onto buyers, sources said on Friday.

"[February] has gone up by €20-30/tonne ($26-39/tonne)," a seller said, adding that most business was conducted at €1,310-1,330/tonne FD (free delivered) Europe.

Producers have managed to pull prices over the €1,300/tonne Europe barrier and are now concentrating on targeting increases for end February, March deliveries.

Notwithstanding the presence of rogue numbers, €1,310-1,330/tonne have stuck through much of February and are considered representative of the month’s freely negotiated business.

Anything from €1,300-1,360/tonne was also heard on occasion this month.

The euro versus the pound sterling exchange rate is playing havoc with business in the UK, as buyers are faced with offers of up to £1,180/tonne FD UK.

The European market continues to be subdued, despite current exchange rates and developments in the dominant Asian market supporting a possible increase in March raw materials.

"I think that when the Chinese market normalises [post Lunar New Year], we will see more textile demand so that raw materials will increase and so March [PET] could go up," according to a reseller.

Customers are either covered by contracts, imports or operating hand-to-mouth and are not stocking up on domestic volumes.

However, this week the sell side said there was noticeable acceptance of some higher prices. 

"I have seen particularly this week, prices over €1,350/tonne," a producer said.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Caroline Murray
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