The informative and reliable Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) report is published weekly in Asia. In Europe PBT is covered in the Engineering Plastics report and includes Polyacetal (POM).
Contract price assessments are covered in Europe, while Asia focuses on spot activity. This valuable tool will support market players in business decisions. Our news and analysis includes regional overviews, production news, feedstock movements and graphs.
Updated to Q4 2020
Supply was largely stable, with plants continuing to run at reduced rates. Poor margins and weak buying momentum have prompted suppliers to maintain lower-than-optimal output. Despite the lower rates, supply remained ample in the region. Some buyers moved towards cheaper material such as off-spec resins or scrapped plastic for certain applications, which contributed to the long supply.
Some recovery in demand was seen in the quarter, as the key automotive sector strengthened after a slump in the previous quarter. Some users restocked after months of slow purchases. However, after replenishing inventories, demand tapered off in the second half of the quarter. Traders kept low stocks and preferred to purchase on a need-to basis, given the uncertain demand.
There was ample supply at the beginning of Q4. Towards the latter part of the quarter the situation became tight as demand was outpacing supply and there were issues with acquiring product at short notice. Some of that is associated with the upstream butanediol (BDO) tight markets hindering operating rates. Lower volumes and delays of imports from Asia exacerbated the situation.
Consumption levels were healthy from the downstream sector, with reports of improvements from October. Demand in Q4 was strong overall. November, for some, was the best performing month in 2020. December, which is historically quieter, saw a good level of demand. There were signs that the electronics sector did particularly well over the Christmas period.
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Polybutylene terephthalate or PBT is a semi-crystalline, white or off-white polyester similar in both composition and properties to polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It has slightly lower strength and stiffness than PET. PBT is softer, but it has higher impact strength and very similar chemical resistance. It is usually preferred for industrial scale moulding due to quicker crystallising. It is widely used in electronic, electrical, communications, fibre optics and automotive industries.
Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) is included in the engineering plastics umbrella.
PBT is a thermoplastic polyester resin that has good impact strength, heat resistance and flow properties. It has many automotive applications such as mirror housings, fans, fuse boxes, cowl vents, and motor and ignition system components.
It also has uses in electrical and electronic products such as connectors, chip sockets, terminal boards, switches and circuit breakers.