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Updated to Q1 2020
The market witnessed a total unscheduled shutdown amounting to around 600,000 tonnes, while loss of production of scheduled turnarounds stood at 1.36m tonnes. As a result of the coronavirus spread, India took measures to contain the spread of the virus by locking down its country. This led to the shutdown of India’s MCPI PTA facilities.
Polyester demand eroded as a result of the Lunar New Year holiday, the spread of the coronavirus, and the steep declines seen in the upstream energy markets. Polyester run rates in China reached a low of around 59% in the middle of February, while polyester operating rates in India ground to a halt towards the end of the quarter.
Technical problems in Rotterdam, the Netherlands failed to disrupt the markets to any significant degree, according to market sources. Lockdowns, logistical difficulties and the health of the workforce could impact output. There was a planned shutdown of one line at Equipolymers’ site in Germany throughout March.
Demand was boosted in early Q1 by earlier presales of downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET), but remained unimpressive. The situation improved in March. The attraction towards prioritising PET-packaged food and water grew as the region closed in on restrictions serving to contain and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
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