In Europe, the PET bottle market has extended its downward trend that kicked off by around mid-September. In spite of a force majeure declaration from Indorama, local prices started December with a fresh round of small declines amid lower feedstock costs and thin demand.
Prices hit more than 7-month low
ChemOrbis Price Index data reveal that the weekly averages of PET bottle prices on FD NWE/Italy basis have decreased to their lowest levels since around late April. Prices have registered cumulative declines of around €205-2015/ton since they hit an all-time high in the second week of September.
Indorama’s force majeure has no major impact on sentiment so far
Thailand-based Indorama Ventures declared a force majeure on PET supplies from its plants in the Netherlands on November 30 due to technical issues.
Although a few players believed, in the first place, that the outage might help the sentiment improve in December, the declaration has had no major impact on the price trend until now.
“The force majeure may remain in place until the end of December. Still, we think that it won’t have a major impact on overall supply levels amid the low season,” a regional trader opined.
How about Chinese producers’ hike intentions?
After posting decreases for ten consecutive weeks, export PET offers from China have tracked a stable to slightly higher trend so far this week as some producers preferred to lift their offers in line with higher crude oil futures.
Chinese producers’ attempts for modest hikes have not been reflected on the European market yet since their sustainability is still questioned in Asia. Meanwhile, defying the price trend in China, a South Korean producer applied fresh decreases of $30/ton on its export PET bottle prices when compared to last week.
December PET deals start to be concluded lower in Europe
A packaging converter in Germany reported that he purchased some European PET for December delivery with a sharp decrease from November. He said, “Prices are not likely to rebound before the end of this year in Europe. The market might shift direction in January if Asian producers can sustain their recent hike attempts in the near term.”