Fibre Intermediates Overview
ICIS coverage of fibre intermediates refers to purified terephthalic acid, PTA, and monoethylene glycol, MEG. Both are key intermediates in the production of polyester.
Demand for both intermediates is expected to be maintained at high growth rates of 6% to 7% in the coming years.
Due to large PTA expansions in China, supply is expected to exceed demand in the near future and PTA margins are expected to be squeezed.
Tight feedstock paraxylene supply could however limit PTA operating rates.
Supply of MEG is expected to remain tight in the medium term, because very few naphtha-based MEG projects have been announced. Existing capacities of MEG are expected to run at very high rates increasing the underlying volatility and speculation in this market.
Substantial increase of future supply may depend on whether coal to MEG technology can be successfully industrialised.
Downstream consumption from the polyester section is also expanding but is likely to lag behind the growth in available supply. Consumption of polyester could also be curbed by slower overall economic growth around the world in the coming two to three years.