Asia PBT under pressure as demand eases ahead of China holiday


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Asia’s polybutylene
terephthalate (PBT) resins prices were under
downward pressure this week as demand eased
further ahead of China’s week-long holiday in
October.

Buying momentum began to slow down in early
September, after some pick-up in July and
August, as users have accumulated stocks.

Spot prices of PBT dipped to $0.95-1.00/kg CIF
(cost, insurance & freight) NE (northeast)
Asia, ICIS data showed.

ICIS Editorial Chart goes here

“Demand continued to ease off in recent weeks
and the market is soft,” said a supplier in
Asia.

Offers for off-spec resins at $0.75-0.80/kg CIF
China found lukewarm interest, with some buyers
countering at around $0.60/kg CIF China.

“The automotive sector has quietened down again
and PBT demand is weakening,” said a trader in
China.

PBT, an engineering plastic, is a thermoplastic
polyester resin used in the automotive industry
for mirror housings, fans, fuse boxes, cowl
vents, and motor and ignition system
components. It also has uses in electrical and
electronic products.

The margins of PBT producers remained squeezed
as values of feedstock purified terephthalate
acid (PTA) values were largely stable while
those of other raw material – butanediol (BD0)
– trended higher recently.

ICIS Editorial Chart goes here

Some market participants expect a slower
October market, with China off for holidays in
the first half.

The Chinese markets will be closed from 1-8
October for the mid-autumn festival and
National Day celebration.

Other PBT participants were less upbeat for the
automotive sector amid rising US-China tensions
and the resurgence of the coronavirus across
some economies.

“Overall outlook is cloudy as trade can be
easily slow if the US-China tensions worsen or
a second wave infection comes,” a
Singapore-based trader said.

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Focus article by Clive Ong

Photo: Cars waiting to be exported at
Lianyungang in China’s Jiangsu province. 6
September 2020 (Source: Top Photo
Corporation/Shutterstock)

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