Sometime soon, there will be a month in which North American selling prices for PET bottle resin don't decline. But December was not that month.
Regional prices for that material slipped downward by 1 cent per pound in December, due in part to lower seasonal demand. PET bottle resin prices now have fallen for five consecutive months. One-cent drops in November and December followed declines totaling 8 cents from August-October.
PET prices finished 2015 down by a net of 4 cents per pound. The market continues to struggle with overcapacity and reduced demand from makers of carbonated soft drinks, its largest end market.
John Cullen, resins sales and marketing director at PET maker DAK Americas LLC of Charlotte, N.C., recently told Plastics News that North American PET demand was on track to be up almost 2 percent in 2015, even as demand from the CSD market slid almost 1 percent.
Bottled water unit growth in 2015 was up 15 percent, but that translated to only a 7 percent increase in PET resin used, Cullen added, as bottlers continued to make lighter water bottles. The average water bottle now uses only 8 grams of PET, with some using only 7 grams, he said.