28 March 2013 22:20 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices were assessed down by 2 cents/lb ($44/tonne, €34/tonne) in March from their February values on the back of persistent downward pricing pressure from feedstock costs and the declining price trend in Asia, market sources said on Thursday.
Pricing sentiments have shifted downwards in the latter part of March, whereas expectations at the beginning of the month were that prices would increase by up to 1 cent/lb.
In late February, producers announced 2 cent/lb price hikes, but they later revised their increases to reflect the softening price trend in Asian raw materials.
Buyers and producers alike said they have not closed deals yet on March prices and that they don't expect to reach agreements for a few days. The delay has been caused by buyers wanting to push price declines of more than 2 cents/lb while producers are trying to curb the fall.
One producer said prices are down by 1.5 cents/lb from February, while a buyer said he has received one offer at 2.5 cents/lb less than February values. The buyer said he has not heard of any other offers at that level of decrease for March PET.
Another buyer said he is pushing for even lower prices because of the weak Asia PET and feedstock prices. He said he has not closed any deals yet on March-based pricing.
The US PET market monitors pricing trends in Asia because US market participants base their price negotiations on Asia.
Several market sources were in agreement that a 2 cent/lb drop for March PET is fair. It brings US PET prices down to a range of 89.50-94.50 cents/lb SBM (stretch-blow moulding) DEL (delivered).
PET is used in plastic bottle production and in textiles.
PET producers in the US include DAK Americas, Indorama, Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) and Nan Ya Plastics.
($1 = €0.78)
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