19 November 2013 23:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) prices should remain stable in the first quarter on the back of broadly steady feedstock prices, market participants said on Tuesday.
ICS data show that PBT prices have been stable since the second quarter of 2012. Since then, prices of feedstock butanediol (BDO) have fallen 7.7%. However, demand for PBT has largely been steady, nullifying previous requests by buyers to cut prices amid the fall in BDO costs.
“The situation on raw materials for PBT hasn’t changed much. The market will likely move sideways and just go on rollovers,” a producer said.
Some producers and buyers said demand in 2014 could rise by up to 6% from 2013 amid forecasts of an improving economy and expectations that car sales in ?xml:namespace>
The European Commission earlier this month said that real GDP growth for the EU is expected to be flat this year compared with last year, but a growth of 1.4% is expected in 2014.
On Tuesday, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said that EU registrations for new passenger cars rose 4.7% year over year to 1m units in October. However, new car registrations for the January-October period were down 3.1% year over year to 10m units.
“Things are bottoming out, and people expect [car sales] next year to be better than this year,” another producer said.
Market players also cited the increasing use of plastics such as PBT in the manufacture of newer cars as a reason for increasing demand for the material.
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