Terephthalic acid Prices, markets & analysis
With a network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US, ICIS is fully equipped to keep you updated on everything that happens in the global Terephthalic acid market, whether you buy or sell Terephthalic acid or related products.
From daily and weekly reports containing price assessments obtained by our network of local reporters, to the news and analysis that put the market into focus, we provide the tools you need to make confident business decisions.
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
Rapid downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) capacity expansion in China and India in the first half of 2013 has led to a gap in Asian purified terephthalic acid (PTA) supply, as there will be no further start-ups in Asia until the end of the year. This has allowed the market to absorb sharp capacity increases seen in 2012.
Balanced supply and demand is key to supporting PTA prices. Improved PTA margins will easily result in increased PTA production, given the huge unused nameplate capacity in Asia. Potential price downsides are foreseen if demand is not able to keep pace. Nevertheless, most players are upbeat about the polyester demand in the remaining of the year with the approach of the September peak textile manufacturing season in China.
In Europe, PTA monthly contracts adhere to a formula based on upstream paraxylene (PX). When applicable, spot imports arrive from Asia and Mexico. Downstream PET demand is essentially weak and PET plants are closing down as a consequence.
Updated to mid-August 2013
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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.