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Asia PET prices extend gains into January

by Pınar Polat -
  • 06/01/2022 (02:44)
PET prices across Asia not only closed 2021 on firm footing but also started the new year with additional increases, driven by higher feedstock costs and the lingering tightness inside China. This was despite the fact that demand was limited due to the off-season and tighter Covid-19 measures.

A Chinese trader said, “China’s local and export PET bottle prices will continue their uptrend amid a shortage of PET supply. Since September, the operating rate of suppliers is affected by the dual-control policy. In addition, good orders from export outlets have also caused supply to diminish. Domestic buyers have secured their orders in advance as they think prices have already bottomed out. Cost support is also strong and energy values are higher.”

China leads the uptrend across Asia

Remaining under upward pressure from rising feedstock costs and tightening supply, the uptrend in China’s PET market has had a spillover impact on other Asian markets.

Export PET bottle offers from China were assessed stable to $20/ton higher from last week at $1020-1080/ton FOB, cash basis.“The tightness in domestic supplies and the rising feedstock costs are getting reflected in the local market too,” a trader added.Local PET prices in China were assessed CNY200/ton ($32/ton) higher to CNY7,700-7,900/ton ex-warehouse China, cash including VAT ($1070-1098/ton without VAT).

Sluggish demand in China during the off-season was reinforced by the stricter Covid measurements. The Chinese government imposed a lockdown in Yuzhou city after Xi’an, pushing millions of residents to stay at their homes.

Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, import PET bottle prices for all origins were assessed $10/ton higher from last week at $1090-1170/ton on CIF, cash basis. Within that range, prices of Chinese material were assessed at $1090-1130/ton with similar terms.

Imports continued to arrive in a trickle, crimping supplies in the market, traders said. The resultant higher freight rates also raised import prices.

“Import prices are up but demand is still not great. Being quite close to the Chinese New Year, players don’t want to keep high inventories, as they see a long lean month,” a trader in Vietnam said.

South Korea

In South Korea, export PET bottle prices were assessed stable from last week at $1090-1110/ton FOB Busan.

A major South Korean producer kept prices stable. A company source said the sentiment remained bullish amid the firm spot prices for MEG and PTA.

Feedstock prices track oil prices higher

According to ChemOrbis Price Wizard, spot MEG prices have increased $25/ton in the past two weeks to $650/ton, on CFR China basis. MEG futures values have also had a firm start to 2022. May MEG futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange settled CNY120/ton ($19/ton) higher on January 4, the first trading day of the new year.

Spot PTA prices on similar terms have been up by $55/ton over the same time period to $705/ton. Spot PX prices on FOB Korea basis have posted relatively the largest gain of $100/ton to be reported at $900/ton.

All feedstocks have reflected the firm sentiment in energy markets. “Firm PTA and MEG prices have raised our operational costs,” said a source at a major producer in China.

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