Pricing downtrend Persists for PBT in US and Asia Despite Production Cuts in April
Pricing downtrend Persists for PBT in US and Asia Despite Production Cuts in April

Pricing downtrend Persists for PBT in US and Asia Despite Production Cuts in April

  • 02-May-2024 3:43 PM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

At the termination of April 2024, the PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) market in both the US and Asia continued on a downward trend, driven by sluggish inquiries from downstream sectors. Confidence in downstream demand in the spot market remained stable, with prices showing minimal fluctuation. Manufacturers generally maintained steady quotations, while traders demonstrated some flexibility in pricing. Downstream procurement activities were cautious, characterized by a prevalent "wait-and-see" attitude and subdued sentiments in the downstream market, resulting in average transaction volumes. Notably, there was a consistent decrease in prices of feedstock Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) from manufacturers, contributing to an overall reduction in the costs of PBT during this period.

The Asian PBT market experienced slight fluctuations, notably with a minor decrease in prices with a recent dip of 0.8% in the last week of April 2024. Last week, the supply continued to outstrip demand despite PBT players in China significantly reducing production rates during the ongoing turnaround season. The market's delicate buying sentiment was additionally subdued by considerable fluctuations in crude oil futures and a weekly decline in the feedstock PTA prices. Concurrently, PBT demand from the home appliance sector dwindled amidst the Labour Day holidays in China during the first week of May 2024 despite its peak season. Thus, PBT shows low volatility, and the process of depleting inventory is moving slowly in the region and the demand from downstream sectors has yet to provide full support for the PBT market.

The PBT prices remained steady in the USA market after April 2024. This stability resulted from the unchanged regional trading conditions and adequate stock availability. Additionally, stabilized upstream material prices including the Butanediol price trend contributed to the stabilized input pressure as it possessed improvement in the production rates by producers in the North American region. Moreover, After experiencing growth in March 2024, economic activity in US manufacturing declined in April 2024 indicating low downstream consumption from the automotive and home appliance industry in the region.

According to ChemAnalyst, current market conditions indicate that the likelihood of both a rise and a fall in PBT prices in the future is roughly equal. As a result, market participants anticipate continued sluggishness in the PBT market in the near term. Assessing the fundamentals, it is expected that the key upstream materials essential for PBT production will continue to offer substantial support in the future market by becoming inexpensive. Presently, PBT polymerization plants are operating at limited capacity, which is expected to lead to tight supply in the upcoming weeks and stability in product prices.

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