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Demand-supply equation puts PTA prices on the mat

Jan '06
Purified Terephthalic Acid or simply called PTA, has wide industry application. As a basic raw material it is used in the manufacture of polyester polymer that produces fibres for textiles, packaging, PET bottles and other film based items. Markets, especially Asian, have been volatile and totally dependent on rising crude prices that have reached record levels in the recent times. As a cascading result, Paraxylene (PX) feedstock costs have gone up and growing demand for polyester and Polyethylene Terphthalate (PET) have spurred PTA sellers to seek hike in their price quotes.

As a result, Taiwan was abuzz with January contract quotes at US $840 per metric ton CFR topped with a 90-day credit.

However, buyers are not tagging along the offer even as dealers look forward to a steady rise in demand as the month end Lunar New Year holidays approach.

Upstream energy prices were firmly quoted and PX offers reached $1000 per metric ton CFR mark in Taiwan; setting a clear undertone in the Asian markets on realistic basis.

Narrow PTA stocks and Taiwan's Invista plant having no plan to restart its closed Tao Yuan PTA plant till mid-January, market sentiments will definitely rule the prices strongly.

Tao Yuan has 450 kilo ton per annum capacity that encountered technical problems, recently.

Words of caution: It is imperative to book deliveries before prices breech at $850 per metric ton CFR level.

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