30 July, 2018
In Europe’s local PET market, regional producers have mostly wrapped up their July businesses with rollovers from June after several months of supply-driven increases. However, local prices in the spot market have seen some softening since late last week given mounting pressure from competitively-priced Far East Asian origins which have been steadily decreasing for the past six weeks.
Despite the fact that supply limitations persisted, the overall ranges for local PET bottle prices in Northwest Europe and Italy posted weekly decreases of €20/ton on the low ends while they remained stable on the high ends last week.
In the first half of July, JBF Industries lifted the force majeure on PET output from its Belgium plant while BP also lifted the one on its PTA production. Although these two developments have helped players’ supply concerns ease and stabilized Europe’s PET market at its multi-year highs, the recent PTA issues in Mexico have rekindled supply woes across the region.
A trader based in Switzerland commented, “We concluded our July deals with mostly rollovers amid lingering supply tightness while European producers are still evaluating the impact of the explosion at Petrotemex’ PTA plant in Mexico as the producer supplies feedstock to European companies. However, this has failed to prevent the spot PET market from seeing some softening lately in the face of competitively-priced Asian origins.”
A bottle manufacturer in Belgium noted, “We purchased July cargoes with rollovers from our regular supplier on contract basis. In the spot market, meanwhile, we have recently seen slightly lower prices. Still, we believe that PET prices will not see any major losses until September as the high season continues and supplies are yet to improve across the region entirely.”
In Italy, a converter opined, “We have received slightly lower PET offers for European origins from the spot market. This is mainly due to slower-than-expected demand and recovering supply levels in the region. Import prices from South Korea, meanwhile, decreased for another week and we made some purchases for this origin.”
Last week, a South Korean producer implemented a reduction of $20/ton on its export PET offers for the sixth consecutive week. Export offers from China, meanwhile, have recorded a cumulative decrease of $140-145/ton since the downtrend started in mid-June, according to weekly average data from ChemOrbis Price Index.