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 2018
Seasonally in Europe, the winter period leads to a tightening of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles supply. This is as PET bottles consumption drops in colder temperatures. Subsequently, downstream products such as colourless or mixed coloured R-PET flakes may see lesser availability toward the end of the year.
The European R-PET market has curbed usual trends with seasonality a weaker factor in 2018 negotiations. This lack of typicality in the market derives itself from the growing importance of sustainability with demand for products such as food grade pellets and flakes rising in response. Otherwise, typically the fourth quarter ends with a lull in consumption.
Supply of R-PET is expected to remain steady in the fourth quarter. Producers will have lower volumes of raw material, but this should be balanced with lower demand in winter months. R-PET will continue to compete with virgin resin amid green initiatives and high virgin prices.
Demand for R-PET in the US will continue to be very strong in the fourth quarter on the back of brand owners’ push toward increased recycled content in packaging. Demand will wane somewhat as the winter months tend to translate to reduced production.
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.
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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.