04 March 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]LONDON (ICIS)--European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) colourless flake prices have increased by €20-50/tonne ($26-65/tonne) due to increased demand from the downstream packaging sector, sources said Monday.
Packaging demand is increasing as a result of the approach of the peak bottling season. Sources previously estimated that packaging demand rose by as much as 20% in February compared to January.
This is the first time that the low end of colourless flake prices has moved since 8 October 2012, which coincided with the end of the previous packaging peak season.
Producers have been targeting price increases since the beginning of the year, to offset a €50/tonne rise in colourless post-consumer bottle prices at the beginning of December.
Weak downstream demand because of poor macroeconomic conditions – particularly in the automotive and fibre end-use markets – had prevented the low-end of flake prices from increasing, resulting in squeezed margins, which have now been restored as a result of the increased packaging demand.
Mixed-coloured flake prices are stable, however. This is because the automotive and sheeting sectors account for a larger portion of mixed-coloured flake demand, and consumption remains too low to increase prices.($1 = €0.77)
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