The terephthalic acid (PTA) report is published weekly by ICIS in Asia and Europe. Our team of locally based reporters are fully equipped with market intelligence to provide reliable and trustworthy information for you to keep abreast of market movements and allow you to make informed business decisions.
The price assessments cover both the contract and spot markets, and the commentary includes news and analysis about business, demand and supply movements, upstream activity as well as general industry and economic news.
Terephthalic acid Overview Transcript
Terephthalic acid or PTA is made by oxidising paraxylene or PX, nearly all the pta is consumed in polyester production including fibre and yarn, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), bottle resin or polyester film.
The textile and garment industry consumes a large proportion of global PTA output.
China is the most important import market for PTA due to its huge polyester capacity, over half of the world’s total. What happens in China, sets the tone across Asia and the world.
Sentiment plays an important role in driving Asia’s PTA spot prices. It fluctuates in line with the change in PTA futures pricing traded on the Zhengzhou commodities exchange, which in turn takes its cue from crude futures prices, equity markets, Chinese economy and financial policies and the worlds economic and political environment.
While PTA futures drive sentiment and daily trading, market fundamentals of demand and supply form the basis for longer term market outlooks. PTA Supplies have generally been tight in recent years and are expected to remain snug due to fast growing polyester expansion, especially in China.
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Terephthalic acid: Market overview
Updated to Q1 2017
The upcoming Lunar New Year period may see end-users reduce run rates or shut some polyester units, thereby decreasing demand for purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in the first quarter. End-users expect demand for spot cargoes and contractual offtake to dip in the near term until workers return from the Lunar New Year holiday period. The sales-to-output ratio for some polyester segments is expected to recover after the Lunar New Year celebrations.
European PTA is expected by one source to follow the price movements of upstream paraxylene (PX) in the first quarter. Market participants are otherwise keeping an eye on the EU’s ongoing anti-dumping investigation on South Korean PTA imports. A decision should be made on the investigation by 3 May 2017.
January contracts for PTA in the US are expected to settle later in January. PTA demand has continued to slow in the first quarter due to an ongoing fall in bottled beverage consumption. The US PTA price is not freely negotiated and its movement is equivalent to 67% of the US PX price delta. PTA is used to make polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and some plasticizer products.
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Purified terephthalic acid Methodology
About Terephthalic acid
Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) occurs as a white, crystalline powder with a slightly acidic odour. PTA is a low-risk hazard to health but prolonged exposure should be avoided.
In addition, PTA dust can be explosive, and it reacts strongly with oxidants. The substance can irritate the eyes and skin.
Nearly all PTA is consumed in polyester production including polyester fibre, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle resin and polyester film.
Modern technologies produce purified terephthalic acid by the catalytic liquid phase oxidation of paraxylene (PX) in acetic acid, in the presence of air. The process uses manganese or cobalt acetate as a catalyst.