Export PET prices from China fall to 2011 low on softer PTA, slow demand

Export PET prices from China have declined to their lowest levels since December 2010 as weaker feedstock prices and slower global demand have pressured sellers to reduce their prices, as per ChemOrbis. Export PET prices have been declining steadily since mid-September and have lost a cumulative US$280/ton over the last eight weeks. Much of the decline in export PET prices can be attributed to weakening spot PTA and MEG feedstock costs. Spot prices for both PTA and MEG have posted significant declines over the past month. Spot PTA prices on a CFR China basis reached their lowest levels of 2011 last week. These declines in feedstock prices have brought down theoretical production costs for PET to a level close to the spot prices prevailing in China’s export market, giving some sellers hope that prices will begin to stabilize soon, especially as crude oil prices on the NYMEX have moved above the US$90/barrel threshold for the first time since the beginning of August. On the buyers’ side, most converters report that they have retreated to the sidelines in anticipation of further price reductions over the near term, as per ChemOrbis. Widespread uncertainty regarding the macroeconomic outlook has kept most buyers unwilling to purchase in excess of their immediate needs over the past two months. Traders offering Chinese PET stated that their offers are also facing stiff competition from attractively priced export offers from the nearby Korean market and that competition from Korean PET has acted a pressure point on Chinese PET prices for the past several weeks.
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