The ICIS Polyethylene terephthalate (Recycled) price report is covered weekly in Asia, Europe and the US. This independent and unbiased pricing information gives flake spot quotes in Asia, bottles and flake assessments for domestic and export prices in Europe and bottle, flake and pellet spot prices in the US.
Commentary will give news and analysis of the factors driving prices such as import statistics, graphs, overviews and demand/supply issues. Crucial business decisions can be made with confidence when using this essential tool.
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Polyethylene terephthalate (Recycled): Market overview
Updated to Q4 2017
A supply overhang is expected for southeast Asian cargoes as China demand dropped recently. The Chinese government took back some of the import quota granted earlier in the year from some recycled polyester makers after checks revealed they did not meet the waste water regulatory limits. Also, China’s announcement to ban waste imports effective on 31 December dampened some buying sentiment in China for import cargoes. This will mean that Chinese recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) buyers have to rely on their domestic supplies in future.
China demand for import cargoes is expected to decrease. The China government took back some of the import quotas granted earlier in the year from some recycled polyester makers after checks showed that they did not meet the waste water regulatory limits. Also, China’s announcement to ban waste imports from 31 December had dampened some buying sentiment in China for import cargoes.
The fourth quarter of 2017 has started with a continuation of the tight supply of colourless recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) flakes that has marked 2017 and driven up colourless R-PET flake prices. Whether this tightness remains is largely dependent on demand, as the availability of the post-consumer PET bottles used to producer colourless R-PET flakes is not expected to improve in the last quarter. Meanwhile, mixed-coloured R-PET flake supply is under more pressure than in the preceding quarters, as some sellers have run down their stocks.
The strong demand seen for colourless recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) flakes throughout much of 2017 remains in place early in the fourth quarter, although there is a question mark over the continuation of this demand ahead of the year’s end. Mixed-coloured R-PET flake demand began the quarter at a stable, if somewhat subdued level. Meanwhile R-PET food grade pellet demand is seen by some in the market as dependent on the direction of virgin PET prices, with lower virgin PET pricing reducing the attractiveness of R-PET food grade pellets.
No significant supply issues are anticipated in the US R-PET market.
The market is forecasting a decrease in demand for US R-PET with China's impending ban on scrap plastics. The country will not accept reclaimed material and a ban on imports is expected by the end of the year. This will exert some downward pressure on prices.
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Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate Methodology
About Polyethylene terephthalate (Recycled)
Recycled polyethylene terephthalate (RPET) can be used to make many products including fibre for polyester carpet; fabrics for T-shirts, long underwear, athletic shoes, luggage, upholstery and sweaters; fiberfill for sleeping bags and winter coats; industrial strapping, sheet and film; automotive parts, such as luggage racks, headliners, fuse boxes, bumpers, grilles and door panels; as well as new PET containers for both food and non-food products.
RPET has been largely consumed by the fibre industry as it is sensitive to thermal degradation as well as degradation from contaminants such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Degraded RPET is not suitable for bottle to bottle, strapping and sheet extrusion applications which demand high quality RPET in order retain the PET properties of stability and pressure-resistance.
The level of recycling and availability of RPET differs greatly by country. In Europe, Germany leads the pack and recycles around 50% of its PET. Other countries such as France, UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy have also been active in recycling.