PBT Prices are in Flux with the European Surge and North American Consolidation
PBT Prices are in Flux with the European Surge and North American Consolidation

PBT Prices are in Flux with the European Surge and North American Consolidation

  • 01-Sep-2023 5:36 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

The Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) prices gained a northward price momentum in the European market, while the PBT market exhibited consolidation in the North American region. The recent rise in PBT prices was driven by the surge in the input costs and low availability of stocks in Europe and an increment in the upstream material, including Terephthalic Acid prices, in the last week of August 2023. Conclusively, the increase in polymer prices was prompted by the decreasing inventory availability amid a reduction in the production run rates and supply shortages in the line of unchanged demand fundamentals. However, the prices of PBT in the USA markets fluctuated in a narrow range due to a slow increase in the downstream inquiries in the automotive and household sectors.

In the USA, the PBT price trend was stagnant in the week ending September 1, 2023, as consumer purchasing sentiments remained supportive amidst the expectation of a revival in the automotive demand in the coming weeks. The US PBT price trend was also impacted by the reduced production run rates along with Hurricane Idalia, marking the impact of the hurricane season in parts of the USA. The refiners and PBT producers on the West Coast cautiously approached the prospects of the weather disruptions, followed by the challenge caused by the heat this summer. Additionally, fuel markets were effectively closed during this time frame, impacting input costs of PBT. Manufacturers are anticipated to operate at lower rates in September 2023 to avoid heat-related problems in the face of an inadequate increase in the demand fundamentals.

The August prices for PBT rose overall in the European market due to a positive demand outlook from the automotive sector and limited stocks. Meanwhile, the global economy has shown little sign of a resurgence in PBT demand, with August exhibiting stagnancy in inflation, according to the flash data released by the European statistics agency Eurostat this week. Moreover, from the upstream perspective, the Terephthalic Acid price trajectory remained upward, supporting the current prices of PBT. The PBT prices have been primarily affected by outages in Europe, with more than half of capacity running at reduced rates H2 of the year.

As per ChemAnalyst, the PBT price trend is anticipated to continue to fluctuate in the narrow range in September globally, backed by the inadequate availability of inventories prompted by the weakening of output and lowered operational rates, coupled with the slow rise in inquiries from the automotive sector in the US and European regional markets.

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