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 Q3 2016
Asian purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units are expected to continue operating at high rates even after the peak demand season ends after June. This is due to the continued need to build up inventory levels for downstream polyester producers, who will also continue running at high rates until August, before shutting their plants on the stipulated G20 shutdowns.
Hot weather usually leads to a healthy peak season for European polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the main derivative of PTA, although the pickup in demand started late.
PTA contracts are calculated using 67% of the monthly upstream paraxylene (PX) price movement. PX values are likely to remain on netback with those in Asia.
Expansion work at Indorama’s Dutch PTA plant in Rotterdam should take place at the end of the third quarter rather than the second quarter. Indorama's official figures indicate that PTA capacity in Rotterdam will be increased from 350,000 tonnes/year to 650,000 tonnes/year.
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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.