High inventories, imports force down Europe PET prices

24 October 2013 17:19  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Sellers of European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are under pressure to offload excess inventories and compete against competitive imports, so prices are falling, sources said on Thursday.

"It started when suddenly imports became very attractive. Then there was a 4-6 week gap and the US dollar [versus the euro] was 1.33, 1.34, 1.35, and now here we are at 1.38 and still the import offers in dollar terms are not getting more expensive…the opposite [is happening]," a reseller said.

Buyers are taking advantage of the situation by holding back and only buying small amounts at a time, in the belief that prices will come off further as the month draws to a close.

"I don't make deals for the full month. I just discuss weekly and each week [the price] is less," according to a customer.

Prices are falling faster than most people had anticipated and the peak buying season for PET bottles has most definitely ended.

"It's getting to the point where we have got to try and hold back and accept the fact that demand is down," a producer said.

While not all buyers and sellers were able to buy and sell material at €1,120/tonne ($1,534/tonne) FD (free delivered) Europe, this figure was confirmed as applicable for prompt October deliveries.

Prices moved up steadily from July to September when they reached highs of €1,260/tonne, but have fallen of a cliff since then.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Caroline Murray
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