Asia’s polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) spot import prices fell for the first time in 15 consecutive weeks of stable pricing, tracking earlier declines in upstream purified terephthalate acid (PTA) prices on 11 March, according to ICIS data.
PBT import prices on an CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NE (northeast) Asia basis have observed a significant decline in the past year, from an average of $2,080/tonne CIF NE Asia on 12 March 2013 to $1,875/tonne CIF NE Asia on 11 March 2014.
Meanwhile, feedstock PTA softened from an average of $1,004/tonne CFR CMP (China Main Port) on 13 December 2013 to $892.50/tonne CFR CMP on 7 March 2014.
Persistently lacklustre demand from downstream and ample supply in the key Chinese market were also contributing factors to the price decline, said market sources. Looking forward, most market participants painted a gloomy outlook for the PBT industry. A PBT seller said, “It is difficult to expect prices to firm any time in the near future, as PTA is simply too weak to support any price increase.”