28 June, 2018
Global PET markets have been under the pressure of tight supplies given a number of disruptions stemming from planned or unplanned shutdowns. Boosted demand in the wake of the high season have exacerbated tightness and pushed spot PET prices to multi-year highs across the board. However, plant restarts and upcoming capacity additions are expected to ease supply tightness to some extent in the medium term, as it will also align with the fading demand when the peak season will come to an end.
Asian PET markets responded to softening feedstock prices as of the latter part of June. Easing supply concerns in line with the start-up of new capacities also played a part in dragging prices down. An agent of a Chinese producer predicted, “There are a number of new capacities to come online in China, which will cause higher supplies in the market.”
China’s Jiangsu Xingye launched its new 500,000 tons/year PET line on June 18. The company is anticipated to reach on-spec production by the end of this month. Jiangyin Chengold’s 600,000 tons/year PET line also came online in June. However, the producer had to shut its new line due to environmental probes.
Taiwan’s Far Eastern New Century (FENC) is planning to start up a new PET line in Vietnam. The company’s new 400,000 tons/year line is expected to come on stream by the end of June.
According to market talks, M&G USA Corp.’s 360,000 tons/year PET plant in Apple Grove, West Virginia will be restarted in July.
Egypt’s EIPET is preparing to resume production at its 540,000 tons/year PET unit in Ain Sokhna by late August after the unit remained offline for more than three years due to financial difficulties. The return of the company is projected to ease tightness in Egypt and nearby markets.
Oman’s Octal is planning to restart its 850,000 tons/year PET plant by the end of June, meanwhile.
In Europe, however, players do not expect a relief all of a sudden amid the peak season and the ongoing supply issues for both PET and PTA in the region.
JBF has started to raise allocations from its PET plant in Geel while Neo Group is planning to launch a new PET line at its facility in Klaipėda, Lithuania by the end of June. Despite these developments, Europe’s PET market may continue to face tightness as force majeures on JBF’s PET plant and BP’s PTA plant remain in place while PKN Orlen is reportedly having issues at its Wloclawek PTA unit in Poland.