- Both domestic and import PET see slight gains on week
- PET imports down 13% in May; Mexican imports remain strong
Both the domestic and import polyethylene terephthalate markets saw slight weekly gains July 8 amid higher feedstocks but despite weaker global pricing.
The US domestic PET contract price was seen up $11/mt on the week at $970/mt-$992/mt (44-45 cents/lb-44.5), on higher feedstock prices in formula-based pricing. The July monoethylene glycol contract settled at 23.05 cents/lb—up 86 points from the June settlement. The June upstream purified terephthalic acid contract settled at 36.62 cents/lb.
In the import market, spot prices were assessed up $22/mt, or o1 cent/lb, on the week at $959/mt-$981/mt (43.5-44.5 cents/lb), based on a pricing indication received at 44-45 cents/lb and market talk of recovering demand levels as well as higher upstream pricing.
"Prices are moving up, but buyers are cautious and pushing back on increases," said one market source.
Contract prices, on the other hand, were talked in the 36-38 cents/lb range, however, S&P Global Platts does not consider contract deals for the assessment.
In Asia, bottle-grade PET saw reverse trends, with both the FOB NE and SE marker falling $20/mt on the week at $675/mt and $660/mt, respectively. The downtick in pricing came on the back of weak demand, especially in the European and South American import markets amid travel restrictions and a decrease in outdoor activities.
In the US, YTD PET imports are down 12.5% compared to 2019, reflecting lower demand amid the pandemic shutdowns and cancellation of major events that normally drive up demand in the summer months. However, flows from Mexico, the biggest PET importer to the US, were up slightly.
Additionally, data released by the US International Trade Commission showed a large drop in import levels from April to May that is consistent with a delayed response to the reduced demand seen in months prior amid pandemic shutdowns. After seeing some strength in the month of April, US imports fell nearly 13.4% month-on-month in May to approximately 230,000 metric tons.