Price and market trends: Europe PET prices may be turning a corner

13 December 2013 15:04 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Producers are intent on pulling prices up from the bottom and the market has been very active

The price of European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has stopped falling and may have turned a corner, sources said on 5 December.

“We know prices went down for the last 10-12 weeks. Now it’s stopped a bit, and we even see some small increases,” a PET reseller said.

Prices began dropping in September, largely due to cheaper imports. Aside from exceptional instances where sellers dumped material below €1,120/tonne ($1,514/tonne) FD (free delivered) Europe, prices plateaued through the second half of November and into December.

It is the intention of producers to pull prices up from the bottom. They have managed to a degree, particularly where in exceptional instances prices were at €1,080-1,110/tonne.

HIGH ACTIVITY
“We are sold out until mid-January because of reduced capacity and the very big activity in the market. Everybody is very active. They realised that prices have already hit the bottom and now they say they need [PET] immediately,” according to a producer.

While how much imported material will arrive in the New Year is unclear, there is talk of it keeping domestic price hikes at bay.

“Nobody expects an increase in December… For sure in January there will be many low-priced imports coming in so it is not easy for European producers to move prices up,” a customer said.

By Caroline Murray