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European PBT Market Enters April 2024 on a Stable Note, Shows Sturdy Outlook
European PBT Market Enters April 2024 on a Stable Note, Shows Sturdy Outlook

European PBT Market Enters April 2024 on a Stable Note, Shows Sturdy Outlook

  • 12-Apr-2024 3:26 PM
  • Journalist: Jai Sen

In the initial weeks of April 2024, the Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) market stabilized following a price increase amid limited supply and consistent upstream prices across Europe. Consequently, PBT industry participants foresee mostly steady or marginally stronger conditions in the coming month. They attribute potential PBT price shifts to both decreasing demand and stable cost pressures.

Over the past two months of 2024, the European PBT market has seen price hikes driven by limited import availability. Despite fluctuations in upstream oil prices throughout March 2024, feedstock PTA and Butanediol prices have remained relatively steady. The latest analysis of the PBT market suggests a mostly stable to slightly firmer outlook for upcoming price settlements. Supply concerns emerged in March 2024 following the conclusion of the Easter holidays, with a particular focus on German ports experiencing closures for the time being. Market participants expressed worries about supply disruptions throughout March 2024, exacerbated by attacks from Houthi militants in Yemen within the Red Sea region. These incidents prompted several shipping companies to alter their vessel routes, resulting in delays in cargo movement between Asia and Europe during this period.

Regarding demand, downstream purchasing activities slowed down in early April 2024 as participants in the PBT market responded to increased price levels. March saw three fewer working days compared to the same month last year, affecting production, exports, and incoming orders this week. Domestic passenger car production in March totaled 372,800 units, representing a 15% decrease compared to the same month last year. By the end of the first quarter, Germany had produced 1 million cars, marking a 9% decline compared to the same quarter last year, signaling a continued weakening in the downstream PBT market momentum.

Meanwhile, the PBT demand fundamentals in the home appliance and automotive industry have also been impacted by the 2.4% dip in the Eurozone inflation leading to heightened anticipation that the European Central Bank will reduce interest rates by summer as reported by the EU statistics office Eurostat.

As per ChemAnalyst, PBT prices are expected to be balanced between tight supply and a slow increase in downstream demand. It is anticipated that the PBT market will remain robust at the beginning of next month due to the impact of low supply and escalating upstream cost pressure in the European market. In addition, the PBT prices are also likely to be impacted by the upstream PTA and Butanediol prices in the coming weeks of April 2024.

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