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 Q2 2021
Supply was overall stable with a few plant maintenances in Thailand, India and China. China Resources Chemical started up a new 500,000 tonnes/year plant in H1 May while Zhejiang Wankai New Material restarted its lines with combined capacity of 400,000 tonnes/year after around seven months of maintenance. Many Asian producers had low-to-manageable inventories.
Some trade flows saw more activity while others less, affected by demand at the destination region, shipping availability and freight costs. There was demand for Asian cargo from the Americas, despite hefty freight costs as supply in the Americas remained tight while end-use demand was robust. European demand for Asian cargo was dampened by high freight costs that caused Asian cargo to lose price competitiveness. Demand was regular from Africa, Middle East and within Asia.
The market experienced a series of supply cuts caused by technical issues mostly prompted by a lack of domestic and imported feedstock PTA. Three PET producers declared force majeures as a result. Shipping chaos dating back to Q4 2020, sky-high freight rates and a lack of containers resulted in import supply problems along the global value chain.
End-user requirements were subdued due to quarantine restrictions, which hampered the normal rush to buy PET in time for the peak summer season. PET buyers thought they had enough stock, particularly as imports were due in, but most faced significant delays because of logistic backlogs and constraints at key ports caused by coronavirus restrictions. With shipping becoming the focal point, buyers started to maximise their contractual offtake, as cost-plus pricing was much lower than spot.
Supply in Q2 was tight because the market suffered a shortage of feedstock purified terephthalic acid (PTA) from Mexico. The supply situation impacted PET production in the Americas and Europe, and prices surged along with freight costs.
Demand in Q2 was strong because the market faced shortages of feedstock PTA from Mexico. However, demand declined sharply in South America in the second half of the quarter because resin prices were high and freight rates continued to rise to unprecedented levels.
GCC suppliers saw healthy margins as they could enjoy the freight cost differential over Asian imports to destinations such as the Americas. Otherwise, the inflow of Asian imports to GCC kept supply ample for GCC buyers.
Some GCC downstream converters saw greater end-consumption for packaging during the Ramadan and Eid ul Fitr period, albeit not by much given ongoing pandemic restrictions inhibiting big group gatherings which tend to buoy more end-consumption. Later in Q2, end-consumption tapered back to regular levels that gave a sense of stable demand.
Supply during Q2 was extremely tight due to shortages of PTA from Mexico and constrained PET import volumes from Mexico. Many buyers relied on imports from Asia and Europe despite the rising freight costs.
Demand in Q2 was robust and will remain robust through the summer and potentially beyond. Shortages of feedstock PTA from Mexico and constrained PET import volumes from Mexico created an environment of even stronger demand.
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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.