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Cost and demand pressures dominate Asian PET markets

by ChemOrbis Editorial Team -
  • 21/08/2015 (04:17)
PET markets in China and Southeast Asia have been on a downwards trend since the middle of May. The pressure on the markets has been reinforced by constantly falling energy costs for the last several weeks as they steadily drove feedstock costs south. Plus, depreciated local currencies across the region hindered buying interest for import cargos.

According to ChemOrbis Price Index, export PET prices reported from China and import PET offers in Southeast Asia both registered cumulative decreases of $240/ton since the bearish trend was first kicked off.

Source: ChemOrbis Price Index

Buyers in the regional markets are unwilling to secure import PET cargos citing their depreciated local currencies. Most buyers prefer local sources when they need to purchase amidst available discounts following negotiations.

According to a Shanghai based trader, transactions in China’s PET market are scarce nowadays. “Lower PTA costs in Asia weigh down especially on medium scaled sellers. Buyers continue to keep their purchases in check in most cases.” A Chinese producer reported that their PET offers are still negotiable as export demand is not that brisk in contrast to local demand.

In Indonesia, a bottle converter stated that he expects to see additional reductions in PET prices. “We were offered a $10/ton discount from a supplier this week and prices are still negotiable in general.”

A buyer in Thailand noted, “We are covered for a month while one of our end customers cancelled their order as he predicted seeing additional softening in raw material costs.” A trader in the country stated, “Producers prefer to export their cargos rather than selling in the domestic market since local demand is poor now that the summer season started to wind down. However, even for exports it is difficult for them to compete with aggressive Chinese offers.”

A buyer in Malaysia who reported having sufficient materials for a month said that they plan to focus on mainly sourcing from local suppliers considering fluctuating exchange rates.

Upstream, NYMEX crude oil futures almost neared $40/barrel by the middle of this week, hitting the lowest level seen since February 2009. Spot PX, PTA and MEG prices recorded weekly drops between $25-65/ton in Asia triggered by the falling energy costs.
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