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PET sellers hunt for signs of market bottom in Europe 

by Merve Madakbaşı -
  • 27/01/2023 (08:32)
Europe’s local PET bottle markets have seen players talking about the bottom this week following up to €90/ton drops on January deals. Although demand remained unresponsive to the recent talks about a stabilization and uncertainties about the costs’ side lingered, the rising import offers drove a cautious optimism on the part of sellers.

Europe – Local Prices– PET Bottle

Spot prices on downtrend since August 2022

Prices have been on a downslide during the last six months while they broke below the €1200/ton FD threshold in some cases. Lethargic demand has been the main reason behind the relentless falls amid the low season and the ongoing recession in the region. Adding to the scene was ample supply triggered by the arrival of previously purchased cargos.

A lack of clarity over the costs’ side

According to the weekly average data from ChemOrbis, local PET bottle prices have hit their lowest levels since October 2021 as of late January.

Meanwhile, the lack of clarity on the cost side, with the persistent absence of the PX contract settlements for December and January, put an added strain on trading activities this month.

Firmer import offers prop up sentiment to some extent

Although players started to question whether the regional PET bottle markets have reached the bottom, buying interest has been unresponsive so far. Still, some distributors pointed to the higher crude oil futures and opined, “If import PET prices sustain their uptrend, local prices may also stabilize in February.”

Multiple players expect China’s PET markets to return from the Lunar New Year holiday on a firm note which also supports the relatively optimistic view of sellers within Europe. Yet, most of them concur that demand may not show a solid recovery next month and this may hamper sellers’ efforts to halt the prolonged bearish trend.

Some participants also said that imports may lose their competitive power in Europe if offers continue to move north in the aftermath of the holidays in Asia.
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