Price and market trends: Brazil PET prices rise despite Suape start-up

15 August 2014 10:52 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Prices increased $30/tonne as had been previously announced by Mossi & Ghisolfi, the main producer

Brazilian polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for bottle-grade resin prices increased $30/tonne starting 1 August even as new production has come online because the impact of the new output will not be immediately felt, several market sources confirmed on 7 August.

Separately, ICIS assessments for Venezuela were also increased following actual price indications while they had been previously just notionally assessed.

In Brazil, prices increased $30/tonne as had been previously announced by Mossi & Ghisolfi, the main producer in that country, according to market sources. Prices had seen a similar gain in the previous month. As a result, prices for Brazil after the increase were assessed at $1,900-$2,000/tonne, including delivery, following the 1 August change.

The increase is possible despite the opening of 225,000 tonne/year of capacity by Petrobras-owned Petroquimica Suape the week ending 1 August because the impact of all that new output won’t be fully felt until October, market sources said.

Before Suape began operations, Brazil had 550,000 tonne/year PET production capacity owned by Mossi & Ghisolfi and was receiving roughly 100,000 tonne/year of PET imports which was enough to satisfy current demand of roughly 650,000 tonnes/year, market sources had said. With the Suape start-up, production above what the local market can absorb will have to be exported and prices may be lowered not just in Brazil but elsewhere in the region.

In Venezuela, there were price indications heard at $1,730/tonne as sources said that prices reflect a particular economic situation in which imports are costly and difficult to make while there is not any local production. Availability of foreign currency to pay exporters has this year reportedly been so difficult that some sellers have concerns of not being able to get paid in hard currency.

As a result, ICIS price assessments for Venezuela CFR (cost and freight) prices were moved higher to $1,660-1,800/tonne. This compares with the previous assessment at $1,520-$1,660/tonne.

By Renzo Pipoli