NEW YORK (ICIS)--US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices saw mixed movement for January as some participants rolled over their prices and others reached price agreements at a decline from December levels, market sources on Thursday.
Looking forward, sources are expecting PET prices for February to fall on the back of anticipated declines in upstream prices.
January PET prices are at 84.50-89 cents/lb ($1,863-1,962/tonne) stretch-blow moulding (SBM) DEL (delivered) from 84.50-90.00 cents/lb SBM DEL in December, as assessed by ICIS.
January talks ran late into that month, with some players not even starting discussions until the end of January.
One participant noted that January PET prices settled down by 0.5-1.0 cent/lb, depending on which position players stood.
Another participant had previously settled his January prices at a rollover from December, he said.
Throughout most of January, both producers and suppliers were largely targeting rollovers.
February prices, meanwhile, have not been settled yet, as sources were waiting to see where raw materials settle. PET prices are expected to fall 2.0-2.5 cents/lb from January, market sources said.
One market player said he expects raw material prices to decrease by over 2 cents/lb in February from January.
An anticipated decline in upstream February paraxylene (PX) will translate to a lower February contract price for downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) on a formula-linked correlation. PTA is a direct feedstock for PET.
The cold weather so far this winter season could lead to lower demand ahead from downstream bottle customers, a producer said. Consumption of bottled beverages by consumers typically rises with warm weather and declines in cold weather, market sources have said.
The PET peak season typically runs from March through to August.
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.