Price and market trends: US PET prices to remain soft on declining feedstock trends

06 December 2013 09:53 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Declining feedstock trends lead to softer demand during seasonal down time

US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices are projected to trend flat to slightly down next month amid the end of the year slowdown and upcoming holiday season, market sources said on 26 November.

One market participant expects to see only a very small drop in December PET prices on the back of raw material prices that are trending flat to down by as little as 0.3 cent/lb ($7/tonne, €5/tonne).

Sources also expect the upstream paraxylene (PX) contract price to trend flat to down 
in December.

Prices for November PET were largely settled in the latter half of the month at an average 2 cent/lb ($44/tonne) decline from October. The November price range was assessed at 84.50-90.00 cents/lb stretch blow moulding (SBM) delivered (DEL).

Some market participants said they settled their November prices at a bit more than a 2 cents/lb decrease. Another player said it is targeting a 1.0-1.5 cent/lb reduction in its November PET pricing, but had not yet finalised its prices.

The downtrend was driven by declines in the upstream PX and feedstock purified terephthalic acid (PTA) contract prices in November, which dropped 5% and 4%, respectively, from October.

PET demand remains soft as the market is in its seasonal downtime. Some buyers have said they are either keeping inventory as short as possible throughout November and December or are only buying on an as-needed basis.

PET is used in plastic bottle production and in textiles.

PET producers in the US include DAK Americas, Indorama, Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G) and Nan Ya Plastics.

By Feliza Mirasol