Recycled PET (R-PET)

Driving the circular economy with actionable data on this key recycled plastic 

Discover the factors influencing recycled PET (R-PET) markets

Demand for Recycled PET (R-PET) around the globe is on the rise. Driven by building pressure from both consumers and brand owners to deliver more sustainable ways of living and reducing environmental impact, this trend shows no signs of abating. A growing number of legislative targets in Europe and the US, together with country-specific developments in Asia, add yet another reason why keeping up-to-date with global R-PET markets is essential.

Navigating what has become an increasingly volatile market is a challenge for new and experienced market players. Access to comprehensive and reliable recycled polymer market data is key.

To meet the needs of buyers, sellers and traders of R-PET, we have expanded our coverage to encompass Europe, Asia, the Americas and beyond. We are recognised as the benchmark price for recycled polymers, including R-PET. Our European historic price data shows developments since coverage began in 2006, and the additions of the US and Asia reports adds a global view to this dynamic market and enables a holistic view on how this market continues to emerge around the world.

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R-PET news

PODCAST: EU close to signing off most important packaging regulation in decades

BARCELONA (ICIS)–Europe is finalizing the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), with far-reaching implications for both virgin and recycled polymer producers. Most significant EU packaging legislation in decades Includes binding targets for recycling and recyclability PPWR will have huge impact on virgin and recycled packaging sectors Legislation in final stages but may not be passed before EU elections in June Working groups need to be set up across recycling value chains In this Think Tank podcast, Will Beacham interviews ICIS senior recycling editor Mark Victory, ICIS insight editor Nigel Davis, and Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal Consulting. Editor’s note: This podcast is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the presenter and interviewees, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS. ICIS is organising regular updates to help the industry understand current market trends. Register here. Read the latest issue of ICIS Chemical Business. Read Paul Hodges and John Richardson's ICIS blogs.

17-Apr-2024

PODCAST: Asia recycled polymers slow in 2023; legislation, waste management to shape future

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia recycled polymers markets were sluggish for the most part in 2023. In early 2024 too, challenges that dim the short-term outlook persist. Some legislations surrounding recycling were also put in place in the region over the last few years, but the obstacles that limit the growth of this sector still remain. In this chemical podcast, ICIS senior editor Arianne Perez and analysts Joshua Tan and Chua Xin Nee share their insights on the topic.

17-Apr-2024

LOGISTICS: Maersk to resume Panama Canal transits for OC1 service on 10 May

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Global container shipping major Maersk will resume Panama Canal transits for its OC1 service beginning 10 May, ending its “two-loop” setup it established in January because of transit restrictions brought on by a persistent drought. Maersk ceased transiting the canal in January for the service connecting Asia-Pacific and the US East Coast and instead transported containers across Panama using railroads. The company said it is taking the action because of the onset of the rainy season in the region and after the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) added three more daily slots based on the present and projected water levels in Gatun Lake. The PCA said it is optimistic that traffic through the canal could return to normal in 2025 as current forecasts indicate that steady rainfall will arrive later this month and continue during the rainy season. The PCA said all future plans remain contingent on how much rainfall comes and water levels in Gatun Lake. Peter Sand, chief analyst at ocean and freight rate analytics firm Xeneta, said he thinks there is still a long way to go before trade lanes via the Panama Canal become normal. “There may be projections for increased rainfall but at the moment they are just that – projections,” Sand said. “If water levels do not rise then it will be interesting to see how this plays out and whether Maersk can stick to this timeline.” Container ships and costs for shipping containers are relevant to the chemical industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are shipped in pellets. Some liquid chemicals are also shipped on container ships using isotanks. Please see the Logistics: Impact on chemicals and energy topic page

16-Apr-2024

France Chimie calls for sector support as crisis continues and structural changes limit investments

LONDON (ICIS)–Chemicals production growth in France could be limited to 1% in 2024 as many companies prepare to implement structural cost saving measures and limit investments for growth, the trade group France Chimie said on Tuesday. The industry in France is weakened by an “unprecedented crisis” as is the sector across Europe, it suggested, with basic chemicals, including petrochemicals and polymers, under intense pressure. The basic chemicals sector in France was dealt a blow last week with the ExxonMobil Chemical France decision to close its steam cracker and polymer units at its Gravenchon site in Port-Jerome-sur-Seine, in Normandy. The closures – following €500m of losses from the site since 2018 – will result in the loss of 677 jobs, ExxonMobil France said on 11 April. Chemicals production in France fell by 1% last year compared with a drop of 8% in Europe, France Chimie said. The number excludes pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. France is a leader in industrial exports, fourth in terms of patent filings in Europe and has a growing workforce, the trade group added. The headline figure, however, does not reflect the deeper contraction in parts of the sector. Perfumes and cosmetics chemicals have grown 15% since 2021 while specialty chemicals output has contracted 4% compared to a -13% in Germany, France Chimie noted. Basic chemicals in France, on the other hand, are contracting at a similar rate to their counterparts in the rest of Europe. “These activities are suffering from a loss of competitiveness aggravated by the pressure from international competition that is not always subject to the same regulatory requirements, “ it said in a statement translated from French. France Chimie expects growth investments in chemicals in France to fall by 40% this year in favor of what it calls regulatory and maintenance investments growth of around 20%. The sector needs an ambitious EU industrial policy that is in line with the Green Deal objectives to restore industrial sovereignty and preserve high quality employment, it said. In France, France Chimie is pressing for the next regulation of nuclear power to preserve the attractiveness of competitive electricity prices. It wants to see the France 2030 plan allowing competition on equal terms with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) support in the US. It calls for the use of trade defence mechanisms to restore fair international competition; simplified and stabilized regulations adapted to merging sectors of the economy; and support for research competitiveness, particularly through France’s Research Tax Credit. "The chemical industry is waiting for strong measures from the European and French public authorities to restore its development momentum,” France Chimie president Frederic Gauchet said. “The objective is not only to contribute to the development of European sectors (battery, hydrogen, health, bio-based products, recycling, etc), but also to support our existing sites so that chemistry continues to contribute fully to a sovereign and decarbonized economy and preserves quality employment in France.” Focus article by Nigel Davis. Thumbnail photo: A plant operated by France's TotalEnergies in Antwerp, Belgium (Source: TotalEnergies)

16-Apr-2024

Latin America stories: weekly summary

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 12 April. NEWS Argentina’s inflation up to 288% in March, but central bank cuts rates on ‘pronounced slowdown’Argentina’s annual rate of inflation rose to 287.9% in March, up from 276% in February, the country’s statistical agency Indec said on Friday. Argentina to scrap import duty on urea and UAN fertilizer In Argentina, the government plans to remove import duties on urea and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), which are currently at 5.4% and 3.6% respectively, said Economy Minister Luis Caputo on X, formerly Twitter. Brazil’s inflation falls below 4% in March Brazil’s annual rate of inflation fell to 3.93% in March, down from 4.50% in February, and its lowest reading since June 2023, the country’s statistical agency IBGE said on Wednesday. Brazil’s Unigel ‘vehemently’ denies irregularities in Petrobras contract Unigel has “vehemently refuted” the existence of any irregularity in its tolling contract with Petrobras for two fertilizers plants, the Brazilian chemicals producer said on Wednesday. Mexico’s inflation down to 4.2% in March Mexico’s annual rate of inflation fell in March to 4.2%, down from 4.40% in February, the country’s statistics agency Inegi said on Tuesday. Argentina PVC sector faces headwinds amid infrastructure investment reductions Argentina polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sector faces challenges as the government reduces infrastructure investments in 2024, with an estimated 7.5% decrease in projects. Chile inflation falls to 3.7% in March Chile’s annual inflation rate fell in March to 3.7%, down from 4.5% in February, according to the country’s statistics office INE. Brazil’s automotive output barely up in Q1, sales rise 9% Brazil’s petrochemicals-intensive automotive output rose by 0.4% in the first quarter, year on year, to just below 550,000 units, the country’s trade group Anfavea said on Monday. PRICING LatAm PP domestic prices fall in Chile, Mexico on competitive offers from abroad, lower US spot PGP prices Domestic prices fell in Chile, Mexico due to competitive offers from abroad and lower US spot propylene costs. In other Latin American (LatAm) countries, prices were unchanged. LatAm PE international prices stable to down on lower US export prices International polyethylene (PE) prices were assessed as stable to down across Latin American (LatAm) countries on the back of lower US export prices. Weather conditions start to slightly shift PET demand in Latin America Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices remained stable in Brazil, with a slight softening in consumption coinciding with stabilized temperatures. However, demand continues to exceed expectations when compared with the corresponding period last year.

15-Apr-2024

Americas top stories: weekly summary

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News from the week ended 12 April. Oil slumps by more than $2/bbl on Israel-Hamas ceasefire hopes Oil prices fell by more than $2/barrel on Monday amid easing tensions in the Middle East after Israel further withdrew troops from southern Gaza and signalled a willingness to resume ceasefire talks with Palestinian militant group Hamas. EPA’s final rule on US chem plant emissions could weigh on EO production – ACC The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule on Tuesday aimed at reducing hazardous air pollutants from chemical plants, which some think could weigh on production of key chemistries and could lead to higher costs being passed through to consumers. INVISTA to explore alternatives for nylon fibers business INVISTA plans to explore strategic alternatives for its nylon fibers business and has engaged Barclays as exclusive financial advisor during the exploration process, the US-based manufacturer of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers said in a statement late on Tuesday. US East Coast PET bale prices steadily rise amid snug supply, rising beverage demand Despite historic patterns, East Coast polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle bale prices have risen only slightly and very steadily over the last several weeks. Crude demand expectations fall for 2024 as trends shift back to pre-COVID pattern – IEA The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday cut crude oil demand forecasts for the year, with rates expected to fall further next year as consumption returns to the pre-COVID-19 trend, increasing the odds of a peak in oil consumption this decade, the agency said. Argentina’s inflation up to 288% in March, but central bank cuts rates on ‘pronounced slowdown’ Argentina’s annual rate of inflation rose to 287.9% in March, up from 276% in February, the country’s statistical agency Indec said on Friday.

15-Apr-2024

Asia top stories – weekly summary

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Here are the top stories from ICIS News Asia and the Middle East for the week ended 12 April 2024. China Mar petrochemical markets mixed; Apr demand on seasonal uptick By Yvonne Shi 12-Apr-24 14:19 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Fluctuations in China’s domestic petrochemical markets were limited in March, yielding a mixed performance during the month, while a seasonal improvement in demand is expected in the near term. Tight intra-Asia container shipping space dampens recycling trades By Arianne Perez 12-Apr-24 13:34 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Major Asian recyclers are feeling the pinch of continued uptrend in spot container freight costs for trade within Asia since March. Asia naphtha demand slows down; supply stays ample By Li Peng Seng 11-Apr-24 13:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s naphtha crack, the spread between Brent crude and the chemical feedstock prices, hit a five-month low recently and it will remain under pressure in the weeks ahead as ample supplies, slower demand and firm crude prices limit any improvement in the spread. Asia ADA sees plant shutdowns amid supply overhang By Josh Quah 11-Apr-24 11:25 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s adipic acid (ADA) markets have begun to crack under the cost pressure and weak demand from the main polyurethane (PU) downstream sector. Fitch downgrades China rating outlook to ‘negative’ as debts pile up By Pearl Bantillo 10-Apr-24 15:16 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China’s fiscal challenges amid rising government debt and its prolonged property slump weighing on recovery prospects prompted Fitch to revise down its credit rating outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy to “negative” from “stable”. Korea trade body starts antidumping probe on China SM imports By Luffy Wu 09-Apr-24 14:18 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–The Korea Trade Commission has decided to initiate an anti-dumping investigation on imports of styrene monomer (SM) from China. INSIGHT: Positive China Q1 data overshadowed by property sector gloom By Nurluqman Suratman 09-Apr-24 12:00 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–China's economic narrative in early 2024 reflects a 'tale of two cities', with its ailing property sector once again playing the crucial protagonist against recent data which offered flickers of hope for the country's continued recovery this year. Saudi Arabia hikes benchmark May Arab Light OSP for Asian customers By James Dennis 08-Apr-24 18:15 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, increased its Official Selling Prices (OSP) for its benchmark Arab Light crude for customers in Asia for the second month in succession. Oil slumps by more than $2/bbl on Israel-Hamas ceasefire hopes By Nurluqman Suratman 08-Apr-24 12:23 SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Oil prices fell by more than $2/barrel on Monday amid easing tensions in the Middle East after Israel further withdrew troops from southern Gaza and signalled a willingness to resume ceasefire talks with Palestinian militant group Hamas.

15-Apr-2024

LOGISTICS: Asia-US container rates fall; tanker rates stable to softer; bridge collapse causing delays

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Shipping container rates continue to fall, liquid chemical tanker rates are stable to softer, and the bridge collapse at the Port of Baltimore has led to longer delivery times for imports, highlighting this week’s logistics roundup. CONTAINER RATES Rates for shipping containers from east Asia and China to the US continue to fall along with average global rates as capacity remains ample to handle the longer routes as commercial vessels continue to avoid the Suez Canal. Supply chain advisors Drewry said average rates ticked lower this week but remain 64% higher than the same week a year ago, as shown in the following chart. Rates from Asia to the US and Europe have also continued to fall, as shown in the following chart. Drewry said it expects a minor decrease in Transpacific spot rates and for stability along the Transatlantic and Asia-Europe trade lanes. Judah Levine, head of research at online freight shipping marketplace and platform provider Freightos, said rates along the US East Coast have fallen since the collapse of the Key Bridge in Baltimore, which signals to him that regional container traffic continues to flow. Levine said downward pressure will continue because of soft demand and it being the slow season for container trade, but that if threats persist in the Red Sea and commercial vessels continue to divert away from the Suez Canal, prices will remain above normal. Container ships and costs for shipping containers are relevant to the chemical industry because while most chemicals are liquids and are shipped in tankers, container ships transport polymers, such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which are shipped in pellets. They also transport liquid chemicals in isotanks. PORT OF BALTIMORE The Unified Command (UC) continues to remove containers from the Dali and clear wreckage from the collapsed bridge at the entrance to the Port of Baltimore. Source: Key Bridge Response 2024 While the closure of the port has not had a direct impact on the flow of chemicals, a market participant in Ohio said it is seeing delays in delivery times for imports as vessels originally destined to offload in Baltimore are getting re-routed to other ports. The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) expects to open a limited access channel 280 feet wide and 35 feet deep by the end of April, and are aiming to reopen the permanent, 700-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep federal navigation channel by the end of May, restoring port access to normal capacity. As of 11 April, approximately 38 containers have been removed, the UC said, which is necessary for safe access to them begin removing the segments of the fallen bridge that lie across the ship’s bow. While marine traffic is still limited, 69 vessels have transited through since the creation of the temporary alternate channels. LIQUID CHEM TANKERS US liquid chemical tanker freight rates as assessed by ICIS held mostly steady this week – except from the US Gulf Coast (USG) to India. There is downward pressure on rates along the USG-Asia trade lane as several outsiders have come on berth for both April and May, adding to the available tonnage for completion cargos. On the other hand, rates from the USG to Rotterdam were steady this week even as space is limited and there are no outsiders on berth. Contract tonnage continues to prevail, with continued interest in styrene, MTBE and ethanol. There has been activity on the spot market, but owners are still working with COA customers to finalize their needs before committing to others. For the USG to South America trade lane rates remain steady with several inquiries for methanol widely viewed in the market. PANAMA CANAL Wait times for non-booked vessels ready for transit edged higher both directions this week, according to the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) vessel tracker and as shown in the following image. Wait times last week were 0.8 days for northbound traffic and 0.8 days for southbound traffic. Please see the Logistics: Impact on chemicals and energy topic page With additional reporting by Emily Friedman and Kevin Callahan

12-Apr-2024

VIDEO: Europe R-PET colourless flake rise in NWE, UK while Polish bales fall

LONDON (ICIS)–Senior Editor for Recycling, Matt Tudball, discusses the latest developments in the European recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) market, including: Colourless (C) flake prices rise in NWE, UK EU Commission definitive ADD on Chinese PET, R-PET come into force Polish C bales drop from March highs Food-grade pellet demand uncertain ahead of 2025

12-Apr-2024

ExxonMobil to close Gravenchon, France cracker and related derivative units in 2024

LONDON (ICIS)—ExxonMobil Chemical France has announced plans to close its chemical production at Gravenchon, in Normandy in France in 2024, subject to the relevant government approvals. According to a press release, the steamcracker and related derivatives units and logistics facilities will be shut down. The company said the site has lost more than €500 million since 2018 and despite efforts to improve the site’s economics, it remains uncompetitive. According to the ICIS Supply & Demand database, the cracker has the capacity to produce 425,000 tonnes/year of ethylene and 290,000 tonnes/year of propylene and was started up in 1967. A butadiene (BD) unit is also at the site and associated derivatives include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP). ExxonMobil's nearby Port Jerome refinery will continue to operate supplying fuels, lubricants, basestocks and asphalt. The closure will impact 677 jobs through 2025. ExxonMobil said this planned closure is entirely separate from the Esso S.A.F. announcement regarding its proposed sale of the Esso Fos-sur-Mer refinery and South France logistics assets. Charles Amyot, president of ExxonMobil companies in France said: “It has been a very difficult decision for us to take, but we cannot continue to operate at such a loss.” This week Saudi Arabia's Sabic also revealed plans to permanently close its Olefins 3 cracker – one of two at their Geleen, Netherlands site.

11-Apr-2024

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