Global demand for PTA is forecast to increase by an average of 6-7% in the 2003-08 time period, driven mainly by PET melt expansions in China, other Asian countries, and the Middle East. Polyester fiber production in China grew 26% from 2001 to 2002 to 7,720 thousand metric tons or 37% of global production.

The global PTA-supply side remains balanced with operating rates between 90% and 92% of nameplate capacity in 2003-05. The global PTA operating rate in 2002 was 94%. Capacity in China will expand rapidly from 4,185 thousand metric tons to 10,000 thousand metric tons by 2008. This includes both announced and speculative PTA capacity additions. Imports of PTA into China of over 3,000,000 mt/year through 2013 will still be required to meet demand. Besides China, other countries where significant speculative PTA capacity was added in the forecast includes CIS, Egypt, India, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States.

World PTA: Capacity by region