Recycled polyethylene terephthalate markets remain complex. Increasing consumer demand, developments on regulation and ambitious targets, are just some of the challenges that put enormous pressure on industry participants. How do you ensure you have the most relevant, trusted information, exactly when you need it to navigate uncertainty and optimise sourcing strategies?
ICIS brings transparency to recycled plastics markets by providing data and insight on the factors driving prices with weekly pricing intelligence for Asia and combined pricing and market analytics for Europe.
This independent and unbiased pricing information provides you with clarity on the current price to be in a strengthened negotiating position and enables you to leverage pricing in the buying or selling process.
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Updated to Q2 2021
Q1 tightness in R-PET flake continued into Q2, driven by high demand from virgin buyers and a lack of PCBs entering the recycling stream. Lockdowns reduced the consumption of on-the-go beverage bottles in Q2, with both quality and bale yields dropping during the quarter, which resulted in a draw-down on already limited PCB stock levels. The majority of new extrusion and pellet capacity which came online had already been allocated and did not improve supply.
R-PET flake demand was extremely strong in Q2, driven by new sustainability targets and as virgin PET buyers continued to seek R-PET volumes to fill in gaps left by limited PET availability. High flake demand trickled down into the PCB market, and prices for both rose month-on-month as a result. Pellet supply was structurally short, particularly for material on the freely-negotiated market, pushing pellet prices up throughout the quarter.
Supply was snug due to the tight supply of feedstock post-consumer bottle (PCB) bales. Used bottle generation and collection remain reduced amid the ongoing pandemic. The pandemic has taken a toll on tourism and some people avoided going outdoor especially after the recent resurgence in coronavirus infections in many parts of Asia.
In Taiwan, demand was stable, buoyed by stable demand for its filament yarn and other textile goods. Southeast Asia downstream demand was flat, with some price sensitive downstream converters in the textile sector comparing softened virgin PET prices with largely stable R-PET flakes prices and reducing their buying interest for R-PET flakes to a need-to only basis. Further increases in freight cost and tight shipping availability hindered export discussions.
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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
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.
The ‘Introduction to Plastics Recycling’ training course will focus on the fundamental concepts of plastics recycling starting from waste management which is a key enabler of success for the industry all the way to defining different production routes to the new use.