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PET prices climb 2 cents

By: Frank Esposito

July 17, 2014

After holding their ground in May, North American PET prices rebounded to show an average increase of 2 cents per pound in June.

The hike came after four straight price declines from January-April had sent prices down a total of 5 cents. Prices now remain down a net of 3 cents for the year. Those declines were tied to lower beverage demand — especially for carbonated soft drinks — and global oversupply of raw materials needed to make PET.

A PET market watcher told Plastics News that PET raw materials and feedstocks didn’t support the 2-cent move through June, but when markets for those materials tightened in early July, the pressure was enough to send the whole 2-cent move through to the wider market.

Now with 7 cents of price volatility through six months, the North American PET sector is on track to slightly surpass its 2013 total of 12 cents of volatility. That total was the lowest posted by the market since 2007. In the 2008-12 period, PET price volatility in the region had averaged almost 35 cents per year.

PET makers already had ramped up production in May in anticipation of warmer weather increasing demand for carbonated soft drinks and bottled water — two major demand areas for PET bottle resin. Production had increased a half billion pounds per month vs. levels seen earlier in the year.