Global PBT Market Outlook for 2024 Seems Negative Amidst Mounted Inventories
Global PBT Market Outlook for 2024 Seems Negative Amidst Mounted Inventories

Global PBT Market Outlook for 2024 Seems Negative Amidst Mounted Inventories

  • 08-Jan-2024 3:54 PM
  • Journalist: Robert Hume

Softening in global Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) prices is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024 due to a slower-than-expected global economic recovery and an oversupply situation supported by the underperforming upstream materials markets. The oversupplied market had negatively impacted the margins and profitability of PBT producers in 2023, and are expected to persist into 2024. Additionally, challenges emerged from reduced demand for PBT downstream products in the electronic sector for a significant portion of 2023, with market participants facing sluggish consumption both domestically and in export markets. PBT sellers also struggled with narrow profit margins under these conditions.

In Asia, the PBT market faced a period of stagnancy in demand, particularly in downstream facilities within the home appliance industry, as enthusiasm for stocking remained low. Traders focused on depleting existing inventory during this timeframe, contributing to a lack of momentum in the market. Enterprises opted to maintain production levels within their procurement operations, creating challenges in boosting demand. Middle-stream traders adopted a cautious approach, further hindering the circulation of cargo and adding to the sluggishness in the PBT market. The overall performance of upstream materials in December was below parity, providing weak support for the cost aspect of PBT. Petrochemical plants experienced a marginal decline in their high operating levels, with limited relief in supply pressure. Conclusively, the post-holiday scenario is expected to see an increase in spot inventory positions. The outlook for rectifying the supply-demand imbalance in the market appears unfavorable for the coming quarter, with challenges persisting in stimulating demand and dragging the PBT market.

In the global market, disruptions in the supply chain have persisted for an extended period. Recent incidents in the Red Sea have prompted shipping companies to temporarily halt or redirect their vessels, exacerbating existing challenges. Furthermore, unprecedented drought conditions in the Panama Canal have led to shipment delays, intensifying concerns in the market. Despite concerns about the potential disruptions in freight, PBT traders and manufacturers are primarily focused on the deceleration of downstream demand which has resulted in only moderate price fluctuations during this period. The downstream home appliance industry remains cautiously optimistic about the upcoming year, foreseeing a gradual decline in purchasing activities in 2024.

In summary, the PBT market is expected to display mixed sentiments in the weeks ahead, as global supply chain issues continue to influence various sectors, while the downstream industry remains watchful of evolving market dynamics.

According to ChemAnalyst, the PBT market is anticipated to encounter persistent challenges due to slow downstream consumption and economic conditions, aggravated by decreased winter seasonal inquiries. Despite these challenges, the possibility of inflation easing raises hopes for a gradual recovery in activity in the latter part of the upcoming year, providing a positive outlook for participants in the PBT industry. The global PBT market is expected to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2024.

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