Upturn resumed in Asia’s export PET prices
In China, the bullish trend of export PET prices that was in place since mid-October had lost steam in the past three weeks before firming back up recently. Higher costs as well as healthy demand from its export markets were shown as the main reasons behind price hikes.
A source from a domestic producer reported, “Export demand is better than domestic demand as the low season has kicked off. We heard that China exported a good amount of PET to Mexico and Peru due to the absence of Alpek in the region. We expect a stable to firmer trend for the short term. Moreover, PTA supplies remain tight.” Another source also reported seeing strong demand from South Africa and Europe.
As for Southeast Asian markets, some of the regional producers enjoyed boosted demand particularly from Japan after the country imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on Chinese PET imports that will expire by January 1, 2018.
Players across Asia reported that PET supplies from Thailand are still tight as a local producer opts for allocating more quantities to export markets, particularly to Japan and the US. The producer’s PET allocations to the other regional markets diminished and prices rose accordingly.
“Apart from Thai sellers, Taiwanese producers are also actively selling to the Japanese market,” commented a player from China.
A Taiwanese producer affirmed, “The main market to absorb our material is now Japan while we are not receiving any orders from the US due to the ongoing antidumping probes.”
South Korean suppliers also raised their export offers. A South Korean producer concluded some PET deals with $20/ton increases in its export market. “We are not aggressive in the European market as we believe that higher crude oil futures will support PET and PX increases. Thereby, we are limiting our sales volumes and stand adamant on our offer levels. We have already sold out our December allocation,” the source commented.
Meanwhile, in Europe, which is one of the export destinations for Asian PET, the sentiment has recently turned firm again as higher imports pulled the market up and erased early November decreases. Moreover, some producers applied small hikes on their December PET prices as a result of dwindling supplies as they had to reduce production rates due to the lack of PTA. PKN Orlen’s force majeure declaration reduced the feedstock availability in the region. This is also believed to have provided an upper hand to the import suppliers.
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