Global PET Market Enters May 2024 with Balanced Market Situation
Global PET Market Enters May 2024 with Balanced Market Situation

Global PET Market Enters May 2024 with Balanced Market Situation

  • 13-May-2024 4:48 PM
  • Journalist: Xiang Hong

In the early week of May 2024, Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices exhibited a similar trend across various regions, including the US, Germany, and the Asian Pacific nations.

In the US, PET prices remained stable at USD 1232/MT during this period. This stability can be attributed to the low cost of feedstock, despite the volatile nature of crude oil prices. Although PET feedstock PTA remained steady, MEG prices in the US market experienced a 2.2% decline. According to the EIA report, West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices were reported at USD 79.65 per barrel on May 3rd, 2024, showing a weekly decrease of USD 5.73/bbl but a yearly increase of USD 8.33/bbl. The recent uptick in US crude inventory ultimately influenced PET prices.

Similarly, PET prices in Germany remained stable, largely due to reduced demand from the downstream bottle and packaging industry and continued low-cost support from feedstock. While PET feedstock PTA remained consistent, MEG prices surged by approximately 4% due to higher feedstock costs. Moreover, the eurozone's April Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) saw a decline compared to March, marking the third consecutive month of decrease after reaching 46.6 in January. Production volumes contracted at the slowest rate this year, and delivery times tightened throughout the month, with manufacturer operating cost declines hitting their lowest point in 2024, which contributed to shaping the PET prices.

In the Chinese market, PET prices also maintained stability, influenced by diminished demand and low feedstock costs. Additionally, crude oil prices fell during the festival period, leading to a subsequent decrease in PTA prices after the market reopened. Amidst the holiday period, overall operational activity declined, and PET off-take from the downstream market decreased. Consumption relied on existing inventory, with some units underwent maintenance shutdowns planned for the holiday period.

Furthermore, the Alpek Q1 report, the production and the revenue both increased in the Q1 2024 compared to the last quarter. Further, the report indicated some improvement in global PET reference margins compared to the second half of 2023, remaining steady throughout the quarter and aligning closely with guidance figures. Asian integrated reference margins averaged USD 288 per ton for the quarter, showing a 1% increase quarter over quarter (QoQ), while average Chinese reference margins stood at USD 154 per ton, reflecting a 1% decrease QoQ. U.S. average reference Paraxylene prices rose by 5% QoQ to an average of USD 1,293 per ton. The spread between North American and Asian prices increased by 28% on a quarterly basis, averaging USD 230 per ton, yet remained below the year-over-year (YoY) spread by 13%.

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