For the Quarter Ending December 2022
The Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) market price in North America continued to fall throughout the fourth quarter of 2022. The price drop was mostly due to a decrease in downstream packaging industry demand for PET bottles in Q4. Despite workforce scarcity in the US, production costs increased, but a lackluster domestic market kept prices down. Meanwhile, slowing demand brought attention to the large inventory build-up, keeping export and domestic pricing under pressure. Regional export and domestic prices were following weak price trends as a result of a lack of buying activity. An array of factors, including excess inventory, increasing inflation, and skeptical client attitudes, were exerting pressure on certain retailers' profitability. Conclusively the price for PTA in the US market declined and settled at USD 1025/MT FOB Charleston during October 2022.
The Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) market witnessed moderate demand from downstream industries, and the price was declining. Throughout the fourth quarter of 2022, the PTA market has been under downward pressure since November as additional polyester facilities were scheduled to curtail output, and new Paraxylene and PTA capacities were scheduled to start operations. In the meantime, a pessimistic outlook caused the PTA margin to decline, and prospective output decreases by PTA manufacturers were noticed in the Korean market. As a result, during November, the price of PTA was found to be circling USD 823/MT FOB Busan. Additionally, as large feedstock paraxylene plants started to emerge in China, PTA makers were apprehensive about how many terms of cargo to contract in China towards the end of 2022 amid sluggish downstream demand.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) producers reported stable to weaker demand, and prices were reduced by around 5% in the quarter's second half. While some of them agreed that demand was steady, others complained about a significant decrease in demand. A distributor said that their demand was lower than usual in December, so they did not lower prices any further because it would not help sales. In conclusion, in November, the price of PTA in Germany hovered around USD 906/MT FD Hamburg. Converters were plagued by worries about a possible recession and the decline of the economy. While product availability was sufficient to satisfy consumers' overall demand, European producers had reduced production in response to the weak demand.
For the Quarter Ending September 2022
The market sentiment for PTA has been sluggish in the first half of Q3. The factors that ruled over the market were low demand, high inventories, fear of recession, and dull consumer confidence. The sharp drop in PTA prices was mainly driven by weak demand for PET from the packaging sectors. Meanwhile, the packaging and Polyester sectors were oversupplied in the market, limiting consumer interest in procuring fresh material. In addition, the Paraxylene-Naphtha Spread has reduced even more as crude oil prices kept falling compared to the past few months, given the persistently bearish demand. However, the market has been flourishing towards September as rising production costs weigh on the ongoing market trend. Conclusively, the price for PTA dipped by 1.8% on a Charleston FOB basis during August 2022.
The price trend of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) continued to decline throughout the first half of Q3. The sluggish demand sentiments from end-user polyethylene terephthalate and polyester sectors in the domestic market compelled companies to reduce their profit margins to increase the trade of goods. Also, Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data showed Chinese manufacturing activity, which shrank for a consecutive month till August, as Beijing kept introducing new curbs in response to fresh COVID outbreaks. Towards the end of Q3, the PTA market observed growth, mainly due to the high production rate as the influence of typhoon "Xuan Lannuo," suspending the shipping and delivery of PT.
Due to the easing price pressure on the feedstock Paraxylene, PTA prices in Europe fell throughout Q3. The outlook for the product's demand appeared to be deteriorating; feedstock paraxylene and crude oil prices also contributed to the declining trend as they were falling simultaneously. Additionally, the PTA market gradually oversupplied downstream demand from polyester and PET manufacturers reduced. At the same time, production dropped 1.0% as a result of the rising energy and electricity costs in Europe. Heavy port traffic caused imports and exports in Germany to fall by 0.2% and 0.7% towards the end of the quarter.
For the Quarter Ending June 2022
In North America, Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) prices were observed inclining for April and June, but they dipped in May. This attribution came on the back of fluctuating crude oil prices, which remained volatile during the second quarter. Further, soaring cost pressure from its raw material market like Paraxylene also contributed to the rising price trend in the first and second half of Q2. Demand for the product during the period remained stable in the regional market. It caught its pace in demand during June when there were high orders for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles in the packaging sectors. Thus, to conclude this, ChemAnalyst prices settled at USD 1033/MT FOB Charleston during June.
In China, Purified Terephthalic Acid prices were observed at Lowered in the first half of the second quarter, which gained momentum during the second half of Q2. Petrochemical markets were mainly ruled by the volatile crude oil prices hovering the price for PTA around USD 1003/MT Ex-Qingdao during June. Since the resurgence of Covid-19 in the Chinese market, the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) plant operating rate reduced alongside decreasing demand from downstream Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle and polyester industries. At the same time, the Indian market flourished throughout Q2, backed by the consistent demand for PET bottles from the packaging sector. Feedstock paraxylene remained strong in the domestic market with firm crude oil prices. Further, India’s dependency on the import market from South Korea and China has created limited availability of the product in the regional market due to supply disruption and high transportation costs, which has eventually culminated in the hike in the price. Therefore, considering these factors, the price rose in the Indian market and hovered around USD 1250/MT Ex-Silvassa in June 2022.
In Europe, Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) prices increased during the H1 of Q2, which later dipped in the second half by approx. 3% in the European market. Demand from downstream Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle and polyester industries boosted on the verge of approaching summer season in Europe. Further, hit the crunched supply situation in European countries amidst the Russia-Ukraine market, keeping the prices at the high end. In addition, due to the global crisis, the crude oil market was hit harder with its value skyrocketing, ultimately affecting the pricing of all petrochemical derivative products. Thus, considering the reasons mentioned above, the price for PTA fluctuated during the second quarter and settled at USD 1012/MT FD Hamburg in June 2022.
For the Quarter Ending March 2022
In North America, the price for Purified Terephthalic Acid witnessed a seesaw trend where prices declined in January, rebounded in February, and again dipped in March. The feedstock prices too fluctuated with the volatile crude oil price. The downstream PET and polyester industries saw growth in demand from consumers and businesses as industrial activities picked up the pace. Further, revenue and sales of the major producers have also increased with the increase in their consumption from the consumer’s end. Therefore, strengthening supply dynamics and stable demand fundamentals have pressured market participants to weaken the prices of the available material in the later stage of Q1. After the conclusion of Q1, the price for PTA settled at USD 986 per MT FOB Charleston.
In India, after having a lacklustre Q4 2021, PTA prices in India have observed a change in momentum in Q1 2022. PTA prices steadily increased and the price change was attributed to the increased demand from downstream users and increased cost pressure from upstream xylene. Demand from downstream Polyester and Polyethylene Terephthalate remained strong throughout Q1 of 2022. Consequently, PTA prices after the conclusion of Q1 were assessed at USD 1084.91 (INR 82290) per MT Ex-Kandla. The Purified Terephthalic Acid market saw an upward trajectory in the Chinese domestic market on the back of high demand from downstream PET and textile industries and rising feedstock prices. In addition, Zhejiang Yisheng Petrochemical announced the permanent closure of its oldest 650 KTPA Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) No.1 line at its Ningbo site located in East China’s Zhenjiang province. Further in the later stages of Q1, against China’s zero-tolerance policy, port Yantian, a major exporting port to Europe, has been closed, hampering the supply chain dynamics. Thus, the price for PTA rose and settled at USD 962 per MT Ex-Qingdao in the first quarter of 2022.
The Russia-Ukraine war in H2 of Q1 caused havoc in crude oil prices globally, affecting crude oil derivatives price trend. During Q1, the prices of PTA in the European market declined in February, which later gained momentum in March. The wind of change was caused by improved demand from end-users and increased cost pressure from upstream Paraxylene. Afterward, the imports of crude oil and natural gas from Russia to Europe were hampered due to the logistics issues. Demand from downstream Polyester and PET remained firm throughout the quarter, where PET prices broke charts in Q1 amid spiking demand and limited product availability. Thus, amidst the volatile market, the price for PTA in Europe settled at USD 824 per MT FD Hamburg.