EPCA ’13: Europe PX buyers looking for lower prices in 2014

07 October 2013 17:34 Source:ICIS News

BERLIN (ICIS)--With an expectation that Asian paraxylene (PX) prices will see a decline next year, several European PX buyers on Monday are hoping this will translate into more competitive domestic pricing to help stimulate downstream demand.

“Asia should be well supplied with all the new units coming online,” said one buyer, speaking on the sidelines of the 47th annual European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) meeting. “This year saw weak demand, and nobody is building inventories now in Q4.”

Another major PX consumer noted that this should have a downward impact on European numbers next year.

“There has been a semblance of balance in 2013 with suppliers exporting material, but European pricing has been too high for buyers,” the consumer explained. “Europe needs more PX/PTA (purified terephthalic acid) conversion.”

Many PX players are carefully watching developments in the PTA and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) markets, in particular the future of Artlant following the news that parent company La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) filed for insolvency.

“Non-integrated PET players have been struggling,” said one source. “This is going to continue into next year.”

The EPCA meeting runs from 5-9 October.

($1 = €0.74)

By Truong Mellor