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.
Updated to Q1 2019
Q1 2019 saw few maintenances and an Egyptian idled plant started up in mid-March, hence Asian supply surpassed that of Q4 2018. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producers’ margins improved as PET prices had limited fluctuations and did not fall as much relative to the falls seen in feedstock prices. The good margins supported healthy operating rates. Loading and deliveries were affected by the Lunar New Year holiday in some Asian countries while operations continued.
For bulk Q1 2019, spot export demand was slow while slight demand improvement was observed for some weeks close to the end of the quarter. Spot export demand seemed to be less than expectations, likely due to global ample supply in the other regions and several big buyers had pre-bought when prices were lower or increased their contract/term volumes with suppliers to avoid material shortage that they had experienced in Q2 2018.
There was a force majeure at Indorama Ventures’ polyethylene terephthalate (PET) site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, which began in November and ended in February. A shutdown at Plastiverd’s Prat de Llobregat site in Spain was also scheduled from early January to mid-February, but neither event disrupted the market in what was the typical low season. Significant volumes of imported product are also thought to have made their way to the EU, particularly from Asia.
Despite Q1 being the low season, it sometimes offers opportunities to pre-buy for the peak season. Demand was disappointing as the quarter progressed, at least for spot and freely negotiated sales, and while some sellers spoke of good contractual offtake, others said inventories had grown. There were areas where demand picked up as expected in March, but on the whole, buyers were satisfied with contractual and imported volumes at a time of macroeconomic uncertainty.
There is no update about when JBF RAK will restart its PET plant in UAE that has been shut since June 2017. Other producers in the region had controlled their operating rates in Q4 2019 and this may continue. Oman’s Octal plans maintenance for one of its PET lines in January.
With the new year, GCC PET demand is expected to pick up as converters in the region will usually start to prepare for the next peak that comes with warmer weather in the region. There are uncertainties in the macroeconomics, hence buyers may continue to buy according to their requirements.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) supply in Latin America during the first quarter of 2019 was assessed ample, with domestic and offshore. Offers from Mexico, the US and Asia were frequent and aggressively competed against each other. Supply in Argentina and Brazil was adequate, with Brazil supplying Mexico as required and reducing operating rates to balance the market.
PET demand in Latin America in the first quarter of 2019 increased on the back of seasonality, but not as much as anticipated. Cooler-than-expected summer conditions and economic issues in several countries in South America maintained buying interest moderate. Demand in Mexico was stronger than in the rest of the Latin American countries.
US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) supply during the first quarter of 2019 was ample, with offers from domestic and offshore material. Firmer feedstock prices in February resulted in strong PET numbers, with supply holding steady through the end of the quarter.
US PET demand in the first quarter of 2019 was sluggish on seasonality as the weather remained cool. Firmer resin prices in February maintained low buying interest, but steady, with more business activity noted towards the end of the quarter.
We offer the following regional Polyethylene terephthalate analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polyethylene terephthalate marketplace.
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Polyethylene terephthalate (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.
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.