The weekly Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) price report is published in Asia, Middle East, Europe, CIS, the US and Latin America. The reports cover, if applicable to the region, different grades of PET such as bottle, film and fibre, domestic prices, spot prices, production news, feedstock quotes, exchange rates and price history.
The unbiased and informative reports are full of news and analysis, and are a vital tool for those involved in the industry to use to make better informed decisions.
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Polyethylene terephthalate: Market overview
Updated to Q4 2017
Supply in Asia is expected to be stable, balanced out by some opposing factors. There are new plants in China to start up and Chinese producers have been slowly reestablishing trade to Europe. However, there may be challenges for China exports when the slow demand season approaches. Chinese materials face high preliminary anti-dumping duties to Japan and Indonesia that started implementation in the third quarter. Chinese producers may turn down their operating rates to avoid running into an oversupply situation. Meanwhile, other Asian producers will likely run their plants at high operating rates to support demand coming from Japan, Europe, US and South America.
Buyers from Europe and Americas started seeking supplies from Asia at the end of the third quarter due to supply shortfalls in their regions and are likely to continue to do so at the start of the fourth quarter. Otherwise, it is the typical supply lull season for buyers in the northern hemisphere, and buyers in the southern hemisphere demand will pick up amid their summer season.
Supply shortfalls in the European polyethylene terephtlate (PET) market are expected to be filled by imports. Financial difficulties at UAE producer JBF RAK are influencing European supply as the firm is a subsidiary of India-based JBF Industries, which operates a 432,000 tonne/year plant in Belgium.
Demand typically quietens in the European PET market in the fourth quarter following the summer peak season. Pre-buying can also emerge towards the end of the year.
The outlook depends on whether the M&G plants in Mexico and Brazil are able to obtain feedstock purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and produce polyethylene terephalate (PET) normally. If not, supply would decrease. But with these conditions unresolved, it is difficult to know how the Q4 supply situation will evolve.
The Q4 demand outlook is contingent on M&G’s polyethylene terephalate (PET) production plants in Mexico and Brazil. If the plants cannot produce normally, demand will be robust, driven by short supply. With strong demand, PET prices will likely be facing upward pressure.
Recent supply issues with global polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers in the US, South America and Europe caused a global supply crunch. Some outflow of Middle East supplies are expected to fill in the supply shortfall in the other regions. Meanwhile, no updates were heard about when UAE producer JBF will restart its PET plant, and the operating rates of other GCC producers are expected to be stable.
GCC polyethylene terephthalate (PET) demand is expected to decrease as the weather turns cold and the seasonal lull approaches. When the production resumes normal for those from other regions such as in the US, South America and Europe, such demand may also go down.
The start-up of Mossi & Ghisolfi's (M&G) 1.1m tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Corpus Christi is uncertain. M&G's West Virginia plant also ceased production in September. M&G's status partially fuelled uncertainty around PET supply, which could extend into the fourth quarter.
There is global uncertainty surrounding the supply situation, which could lead to demand from buyers in the US to seek supplies in Asia at the end of the third quarter.
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Polyethylene Terephthalate Methodology
About Polyethylene terephthalate
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has a crystalline structure and good chemical resistance to mineral oils, acids and solvents but not to bases. It has good electrical resistance, low moisture absorption; it resists combustion and is self-extinguishing.
PET exists both as an amorphous (transparent) and a semi-crystalline (opaque and white) thermoplastic, and can be made into either a resin or a film. The semi-crystalline PET has good strength, stiffness and hardness while the amorphous PET has better ductility.
PET can be made into a resin, fibre or film. The largest outlet is synthetic fibres, followed by bottle resin. PET film is used in electrical applications and packaging.
In the manufacture of PET resins, purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) are reacted to make a basic ester which is polymerised in a melt phase, polycondensation finishing reactor.
Dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) is an alternative feedstock to PTA but the PTA route is preferred. The molten polymer is extruded, cut into chips and cooled. The chips pass to a solid state polycondensation unit to form the PET resin.