Chinese PET prices at lowest level since late 2008
Source: Chemorbis Price Wizard
Looking at export prices out of China, on a week over week basis, they represented $20-40/ton decreases. Meanwhile, in the upstream markets, crude oil prices hover around the $40/bbl threshold while MEG and PX prices are $50/ton and $15/ton lower, respectively, when compared with the beginning of the month.
Inside China, prices also hit multi-year lows while this week, market sources reported that there are shutdowns at a couple of PTA producers. Due to an unexpected technical glitch, China’s Hengli Petrochemical shut one of its PTA lines at its No.3 production plant in Dalian while the restart date is not clear. Meanwhile, China’s Tongkun Group was also planning to shut its 1.5 million tons/year PTA plant at Zhapu this past weekend due to technical issues.
Gaining support from these shutdowns, some PET producers indicated that they might try for increases but in general, the bearish market sentiment, highlighted by poor demand, does not appear to support such moves.
A producer commented, “Some of the local producers issued slight increases as of the last working day of the week given these shutdowns but buyers are still acting cautious and we think it is too early to think positively about the market.” Another producer remarked, “Despite the recent shutdown news, there are a lot of PTA restarts, too. Average PTA production rates are below 60% and PET production rates are still around 65-75% capacity in China. Besides, demand is very weak due to the approaching winter season, especially in the local market.”
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