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Downtrend in European PET market halts on higher imports

  • 21/11/2017 (10:01)
In the European PET market, the downtrend that was in place for the past two months has ceased recently in the wake of higher import offers from China, South Korea and Southeast Asia. Early November offers indicating decreases of €30/ton disappeared from the market in line with the changing sentiment.

A bottle manufacturer in Italy said last week, “PET prices have increased in the last few days despite the decreases in early November. We are now in a waiting stance to have a clearer idea as to whether these increases will prove workable in the spot and import markets. Steady demand as well as firmer energy and feedstock costs may help the market stabilize for the rest of the year.”

However, the increase in import offers caused them to lose competitiveness as they are now in line with the low end of the local spot ranges. A reversal in trend is now being discussed as supply-demand dynamics within the region are reportedly in balance.
Moreover, overseas suppliers are not in a comfortable situation to apply further hikes as buyers prefer sourcing their needs from the local market. A buyer from Germany noted, “We don’t expect strong variations ahead of the year-end.”

A distributor in Switzerland reported, “PET prices from China and Southeast Asia are increasing; however, uncertainty looms over the European PET market as players are waiting to see whether the upward trend in Asia will have an impact on European sellers as well. We expect to see some increases in the days ahead, although supplies in Europe are in balance with demand.”

Waning demand from European buyers has also been affirmed by Asian exporters. In China, export prices have moved higher in lockstep with crude and feedstock prices. Even though upstream costs still continue to lend support, a Chinese producer source said, “Export demand has slowed down recently as our overseas customers are not much interested in our offers any longer.”

Meanwhile, a South Korean producer slightly cut its export offers by $10/ton to $1070/ton FOB, cash in an attempt to pique buying interest. A producer source said, “Demand is not bright for the moment. However, we hope that we will be able to increase our offers once European buyers start to do some pre-buying for late December.”
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