North American PET prices moved up a total of 3 cents per pound in October and November, resulting from material tightness and higher feedstock costs.
Prices for the material had increased an average of 4 cents per pound in September, as Hurricane Harvey affected the availability of PET feedstocks made on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Regional PET prices now have increased for six consecutive months.
The bankruptcy filing of PET maker M&G Polymers led the firm to stop production at plants in Altamira, Mexico, and Apple Grove, W. Va., reducing the availability of resin in the region and providing some justification for higher prices.
M&G's Altamira plant recently reopened, market sources said, but the Apple Grove plant remains down.
M&G also has stopped work on Project Jumbo, a massive PET operation under construction in Corpus Christi, Texas. That plant was expected to add more than 2 billion pounds of capacity to the market in late 2017 or early 2018.
Imports might help North American processors in the short term. But on Nov. 8, U.S. trade officials voted to continue to investigate a request by four major North American PET makers to place anti-dumping duties on PET imports from Brazil, Indonesia, South Korea, Pakistan and Taiwan. A decision is expected by early March.
The 3-cent October-November increase for PET bottle resin is shown on this week's Plastics News resin pricing chart. PN plans to show a large downward price correction on PET bottle resin by the end of January. The downward move could be as much as 30 cents per pound.
The correction will reflect year-end price changes negotiated by buyers since 2012. It will not reflect recent market activity.