PET offers cautiously raised in Asia
A major Chinese PET producer said, “We have lifted our export offers by $20/ton and the sentiment has slightly improved this week when compared to last week.” A company source also mentioned, “We are still not so sure if a firm trend can be sustained as feedstock costs are so volatile.”
A second Chinese producer also elevated its export offers by $20-30/ton from last week. “Our sales have improved when compared to last week. We expect to see a stable to slightly firm trend next week as feedstock costs are mostly leveling off and there is no more room for further decreases.” A trader lifting his offers on export basis by $40/ton has made similar comments, saying, “Even though demand for June is worse than May with buyers keeping their waiting stance, we expect to see stable to firmer prices over the short term. This is because producers are in need of preserving their margins.”
Another Chinese producer reported raising its export offers by $20-30/ton and domestic offers by CNY300/ton ($47/ton) on a weekly basis. However, a company source noted, “We are open to give discounts for serious buyers.” He also expressed skepticism about the market outlook, noting that MEG and PTA prices had been firming up but they have eased back down again recently. A different producer said, “Buying interest is somewhat better than last week as we are receiving more inquiries and are holding negotiations; however, buyers are still cautious.” A trader who has adjusted his export PET offers in line with the market also mentioned, “I don’t expect to see further increases in the near term in the midst of sufficient cargoes and slow sales.”
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The domestic PET market has seen CNY100-300/ton ($16-47/ton) higher prices this week in China as well. A beverage bottle manufacturer reported, “We have received firmer prices this week in the domestic market. However, we still want to wait for the moment. We are seeing healthy demand from our customers but we still want to limit our purchases given the volatile upstream markets.” Another converter said, “We have concluded some deals in the domestic market to meet our regular needs. Although prices are slightly firmer, some discounts are still obtainable. We are shying away from making purchases in large tonnages as we still don’t have a clear idea about the direction of the market.”
When looking at the upstream markets, PTA and MEG are tracking a quite volatile trend with current spot prices still standing below early June levels. In production news, Taiwanese Nan Ya’s MEG plant with a total capacity of 1.78 million tons/year is now off-line, which has caused some speculation that spot MEG prices may spike up on availability concerns, as was the case last year.
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