Increases on PET prices maintain their pace in global markets

08-Nov-10
In China, domestic PET producers up-revised their November benchmark prices by CNY100-200/ton (US$15-30/ton) on ex-warehouse/FD China basis, in line with the rising crude oil prices, which gained over US$5/bbl since the end of last week, as per Chemorbis. Meanwhile, the export market also moved up as PET offers given out of China recorded US$10-50/ton increases on a week over week basis. Producers mostly point to the higher upstream costs as they complain that they are operating below their theoretical break even costs. However, buyers show resistance towards these increases as they highlight the fact that the high season for the beverage sector has faded away while some also claim that they are able to obtain competitive prices from traders, who piled up stocks at lower costs, prior to the Chinese National Day holiday in early October. South Korean export offers on FOB Busan basis indicate a stable to firm trend. The overall price range gained US$10/ton at the high end but remained stable at the low end. The producers justify their higher offer levels with the higher feedstock costs. Some, expecting even further increases on upstream costs, have started to hold onto their offers towards the end of last week. In the upstream market, spot PTA prices gained US$55/ton, MEG prices moved up by US$50/ton while PX offers escalated by US$25/ton compared to the prior week on CFR Asia basis. Higher crude oil prices, shutdowns in the PTA market as well as the healthy polyester demand were amongst the factors that pushed the feedstock costs higher. In Europe, an initial November PX contract settled with a €123/ton (US$175/ton) increase on FD NWE basis while sources comment that the increase in the contract level followed the higher Asian markets. Meanwhile, spot PX offers are US$35/ton higher over the week on FOB NWE basis. Now, expectations are focusing on a higher November MEG settlement in the region. Following these bullish developments in the upstream markets, PET contracts started to settle with €90/ton (US$128/ton) increases for November during this past week. In the US, PET producers continue to remain firm regarding their November hikes while some players comment that increases of US$154-198/ton (7-9 cents/lb) might pass for the month. Some sources comment that the recent increases in cotton prices may cause fibre producers to purchase more PTA, which would result in higher PTA demand and consequently higher feedstock prices for PET. This situation might give further ground to PET producers to raise their prices. The upstream costs are also indicating increases in the country with spot PX offers gaining US$25/ton over the week on FOB USG basis.
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