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 Q2 2016
Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) units in Asia are expected to operate at higher rates in the second quarter in response to increased seasonal demand from downstream polyester fibres and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in the spring. This is likely to continue until seasonal demand starts to drop into the third quarter.
Europe PTA April contract prices were increasing from March, due to developments in upstream paraxylene (PX). Contract-related PTA formulas are calculated using 0.67 of the PX movement. The strong euro should be attracting spot Asian volumes, but there is tightness in China to consider.
Europe is still contending with Artlant PTA’s 700,000 tonne/year unit in Portugal being out of action due to commercial issues, but supply has been bolstered by imports – at least until now. Customers have recently voiced concern about the absence of this site, according to a seller.
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.