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Updated to Q2 2018
Supply of polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) was balanced to tight in April, tightening further during the second quarter. Imports of base resin from Asia, which a producer said typically supplies 30% of European demand, were limited following production cuts caused by environmental controls in China. BP’s force majeure on feedstock PTA from Geel, Belgium, also placed some limitations on production, while continued strong demand for material put pressure on European supply.
Demand for PBT continued to be strong during the second quarter of the year, with a producer saying that it expected 2018 to be a record year for demand. The automotive market is the largest source of demand for PBT, where one of its uses is to replace metal components for light-weighting purposes. A producer said that the electronics industry is also a source of demand growth for PBT.
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Polybutylene terephthalate or PBT is a semi-crystalline, white or off-white polyester similar in both composition and properties to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It has slightly lower strength and stiffness than PET. PBT is softer, but it has higher impact strength and very similar chemical resistance. It is usually preferred for industrial scale moulding due to quicker crystallising. It is widely used in electronic, electrical, communications, fibre optics and automotive industries.