Terephthalic acid (PTA) is published by ICIS weekly in Asia and Europe and also daily in Asia. Our team of locally-based reporters are fully equipped with market intelligence to provide reliable and trustworthy information for you to keep abreast of market movements and allow you to make informed business decisions.
Price assessments are for contract and spot, and commentary includes news and analysis about business taking place, demand and supply movements, upstream activity as well as more general industry and economic news.
Terephthalic acid Overview Transcript
Terephthalic acid or PTA is made by oxidising paraxylene or PX, nearly all the pta is consumed in polyester production including fibre and yarn, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), bottle resin or polyester film.
The textile and garment industry consumes a large proportion of global PTA output.
China is the most important import market for PTA due to its huge polyester capacity, over half of the world’s total. What happens in China, sets the tone across Asia and the world.
Sentiment plays an important role in driving Asia’s PTA spot prices. It fluctuates in line with the change in PTA futures pricing traded on the Zhengzhou commodities exchange, which in turn takes its cue from crude futures prices, equity markets, Chinese economy and financial policies and the worlds economic and political environment.
While PTA futures drive sentiment and daily trading, market fundamentals of demand and supply form the basis for longer term market outlooks. PTA Supplies have generally been tight in recent years and are expected to remain snug due to fast growing polyester expansion, especially in China.
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Terephthalic acid: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2016
Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) demand is expected to remain flat in Asia as seasonal demand draws to a close. Downstream polyester units are not expected to increase purchases, due to numerous national holidays in China.
While demand could pick up after the Golden Week holiday, the upswing is likely to remain limited, particularly for certain segments of the polyester industry, such as the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle-chip market. Fibre producers could see an uptick due to the colder weather.
Sources down the polyester chain in Europe said there is potential for PTA prices to decrease in October, in line with the average €5/tonne drop in upstream paraxylene (PX) contracts for October. However, the upcoming Asian PTA shutdown season may influence Q4 sentiment, as will trends in the price of crude oil and the antidumping investigation into imports from South Korea.
Artlant PTA in Sines, Portugal, is still up for sale and potential buyers have expressed an interest.
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Purified terephthalic acid Methodology
About Terephthalic acid
Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) occurs as a white, crystalline powder with a slightly acidic odour. PTA is a low-risk hazard to health but prolonged exposure should be avoided.
In addition, PTA dust can be explosive, and it reacts strongly with oxidants. The substance can irritate the eyes and skin.
Nearly all PTA is consumed in polyester production including polyester fibre, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resin and polyester film.
Modern technologies produce purified terephthalic acid by the catalytic liquid phase oxidation of paraxylene (PX) in acetic acid, in the presence of air. The process uses manganese or cobalt acetate as a catalyst.