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Asia PET markets continue to slide for 3rd month despite firmer costs

by Pınar Polat -
  • 13/07/2023 (09:29)
In Asia, a stable to softer trend in the PET bottle markets that kicked off in the middle of April has continued to reign over week. Persistently sluggish demand has remained the main factor behind the weekly losses in spot prices along with growing supply, eclipsing the support from the upstream side.

Prices lose around 13-15% since April

ChemOrbis Price Index suggests that the weekly averages of FOB South Korea and CIF SEA basis PET bottle prices have lost around 13-14% during this 3-month downtrend to currently stand at $930/ton and $932/ton respectively. As for FOB China basis, spot prices have retreated by 15% within the same period to stand at $890/ton on average.


Local China prices maintain stability

The local PET bottle market in China has extended stability into a month, with spot prices being assessed at CNY6800-7000/ton ($830-855/ton excluding VAT) FD/ex-warehouse, cash including VAT.
The series of interest rate cuts by China’s PBOC has enticed local demand to some extent, but most participants have concurred that the monetary stimulus measures need more time to be effective.

Players underline pressure from weak demand

A source from a Chinese producer said, “Regional demand has stayed bearish on the back of poor downstream markets and lower finished-product prices.”

A Thai producer also reported lowering its offers by THB1000/ton ($28/ton) to its local market and $10/ton export outlets this week, with a company source saying, “Demand remains weak as downstream consumption has been squeezed despite the hot weather in Thailand and export markets. Without support from the demand front, it’s hard for prices to move higher in the short term.”

Upstream prices follow oil higher

Global oil prices have been underpinned by supply cuts from top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia, with Brent crude futures nearing at $80/bbl and WTI crude futures nearing $75/bbl on Tuesday’s settlement.

The impact of stronger energy values on upstream prices has been felt immediately. ChemOrbis Price Index shows that PX, PTA, and MEG prices were around 3-5% higher in the last two weeks at $1015/ton, $795/ton, and $470/ton, respectively, all on a CFR China basis.
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