PET prices were on a bearish trend for over four months, in line with plunging feedstock costs while the high season for PET applications failed to kick in to put a cap on the downward trend, as per ChemOrbis. Nevertheless, the sentiment rebounded both in Asia and Europe last week with sellers reporting improved trading activities while converters reported better orders from their end product markets. In Asia, PET sellers approached the market with sizeable price hikes, drawing main support from the rising PTA and MEG feedstock prices as they had been complaining about working with thin margins. Chinese sellers also said that they saw improved demand from the downstream side. Although the sustainability of this recent upward trend is now being questioned in China in the midst of volatile crude oil and feedstock prices and the number of enquiries made has diminished this week, many converters are reporting satisfactory demand for their business. Two bottle manufacturers said, “Our sales are proceeding normally during the summer season.” Another bottle manufacturer reported, “We are running our plant at full capacity and we are making good sales for our end products.” He added that their stocks are low and they are cautiously watching the market to replenish stocks.
An improvement in PET demand along with higher prices is also visible in the Southeast Asian market, according to regional converters. A packaging manufacturer told ChemOrbis, “Our end product demand is picking up due to the approaching Hari Raya holiday.” An Indonesian bottle manufacturer also commented, “Demand has improved since last month in line with the upcoming Ramadan and Lebaron celebrations.” He also informed that they received higher prices from their domestic and import suppliers. A Malaysian bottle manufacturer also mentioned, “Demand for mineral water is slowing down towards Ramadan. However, demand for bottles for carbonated drinks or sweet drinks is increasing towards Hari Raya.” He thinks that overall demand will pick up after Hari Raya. Meanwhile, a bottle manufacturer from Vietnam remarked, “We are wondering if PET prices may go up next week as demand for PET is now picking up in Vietnam.”
When looking at the European market, the price trend is downward rather than up for July deals, but demand is also reported to be better. A South European producer reported brisk buying interest this past week. “Demand is finally good as everybody is going for purchases. Buyers have run out of stocks and now they are back to the market, looking for new cargoes,” as per a company source. An Italian buyer manufacturing bottles for mineral water confirmed the comments about good demand and said, “Demand is very good for now because of the high season. In the past 15 days our end product demand has increased significantly due to the hot weather conditions.”