In Asia, export PET prices moved up in line with firmer upstream costs, as per the pricing service of ChemOrbis. Plus, producers in that region feel free from inventory pressure given their lower operating rates. Accordingly, overall export prices given by Chinese and South Korean producers rose $20-40/ton over this past week.
Producers point to their higher production costs as PTA and MEG prices gained $20-25/ton during last week and to even higher PX prices, which moved up by a larger amount, $55/ton, during the same period. Based on spot PTA and MEG costs, Asian producers still operate $35-105/ton below their theoretical production costs even after the most recent hikes they issued.
A Chinese producer commented, “We raised our prices in line with higher offer levels and we feel free from stock pressure as we run our plant at 60% capacity. However, due to the buyers’ resistance, we do not think that PET prices are likely to record further increases.”
Another producer told ChemOrbis, “We concluded some deals with $20/ton hikes at the beginning of last week and then by the middle of the week we achieved an additional $30/ton hikes on our deal levels. However, our export sales have slowed down at our new higher levels since most buyers had replenished their stocks in November, when prices were lower. For now, we prefer to shift our cargoes to the local market, where we see better demand.”
A different producer remarked, “We issued $40/ton increases on our export prices on a week over week basis due to the higher PTA and MEG feedstock costs. However, we managed to conclude only a few deals after conceding to some discounts. We believe that prices will remain firm at around the current levels over the short term as buyers need some time to digest these consecutive hikes.” The producer currently runs their plant at 50% capacity.
In Turkey, prices rose by $30-65/ton for origins subject to 3% customs duty and they moved up by $60-90/ton for origins subject to 6.5% customs duty over this past week, as per ChemOrbis. In Egypt, import Far Eastern PET prices gained $50-65/ton increases on a week over week basis. However, local market levels remained more or less at the same levels both in Egypt and Turkey given the weak demand. Turkey’s local market is currently more competitive than imports while several sellers started to voice that they are planning to adopt a firmer attitude regarding their offer levels starting from this week.