Whichever regional Fibre intermediates markets you work in, ICIS offers the thorough pricing information you need to operate with confidence.
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Asia’s polyester demand recovered from the end of March, which underpinned spot purified terephthalic acid (PTA) prices in April and May.
The price outlook for PTA is bearish, because Asia’s supply growth is expected to outpace demand in 2013. Three large-scale PTA start-ups, from 1.5m tonnes/year to 4.5m tonnes/year, are due in China this year.
These will see Asia’s PTA capacity grow by 9.9m tonnes/year, to 63.7m tonnes/year by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, demand across the region is expected to increase by 2.8m tonnes in 2013.
Asia’s PTA producers have been running at reduced rates because of poor margins, which are likely to continue for most of 2013 because of long supply and slower economic growth in Asia.
In Europe, demand for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has remained weak, while the peak season should be well under way by now.
Economic uncertainty and a general malaise in demand are leading buyers to remain on the sidelines.
PTA prices tend to follow the upstream paraxylene (PX) trend. US PTA prices are under downward pressure because of soft demand compared with last year and falling Asia PX prices on the back of weak Brent crude futures and macroeconomic concerns.
Updated to mid-May 2013
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