Price and market trends: Europe January R-PET prices mostly roll over

31 January 2014 10:02  [Source: ICB]

Northwest European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) prices have generally rolled over in January, reflecting average demand for the time of year and good availability, sources said on 20 January.

A couple of small increases of €10/tonne for flake material were also reported, but were not considered representative of wider market activity.

Availability of post-consumer bottles as well as flake material is said to be good for the time being and demand is characterised as in line with expectations for the time of year.

A flake producer said that ­demand through January had been fairly stable though in the previous week it had been receiving a greater amount of enquiries as well as orders for prompt ­delivery.

“Availability in January has been OK so far. It may be that post-consumer bottle availability is tighter in February and that may push up the price,” a source said.

A producer of food packaging said it received a rollover in January, but expects flake prices to rise in February, as it anticipates that recyclers will try to raise prices and recoup lost margin.

Nevertheless, it expects significant imports of Asian R-PET material in February, shipped in advance of the Lunar New Year. It said it would be buying this competitively-priced material instead of domestic European R-PET and expects other buyers to follow suit.

Most sources expect higher prices in February as supply of post-consumer bottles becomes more scarce, demand for flake material grows and recyclers seek margin improvement.

Nevertheless, other factors are also likely to play a factor, including demand levels, weather and in particular virgin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pricing.

“I expect recyclers may raise prices in February but it all depends on demand. There are a lot of cheap imports coming in from Asia,” a source said.

By: Iain Packham

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