Asian PTA margin sinks to lowest level since Sep 2008 amid strong feedstock PX prices
http://www.chemnet.com Jul 13,2012 PlattsPurified terephthalic acid margins for Asian PTA producers sank deeper into negative territory early Thursday to minus $72.73/mt -- the lowest it has been since September 24, 2008, pressured by continued strength in feedstock paraxylene prices, Platts data showed.
On Wednesday, the margin was pegged at minus $66.54/mt.
Early Thursday, the CFR China PTA price was pegged at $985/mt, inching up $2/mt from Wednesday, while the CFR Taiwan/China PX price rose $12/mt from Wednesday to be pegged at $1,365/mt early Thursday.
The Asian PX market has been on an uptrend in July, in tandem with strong crude oil prices. According to Platts data, the Asian PX market has gained $93.5/mt so far in July. But the increase seen in the Asian PTA market was limited at $14/mt over the same period.
Spot demand in the Asian PX market is seen to be strong ahead of the planned startups of new PTA plants in August and September.
China's Jiaxing Petrochemical plans to start up its 800,000 mt/year PTA plant around the middle of August, while Zhejiang Yisheng Petrochemical plans to start up its new 1.8 million mt/year PTA plant in Hainan around September, Platts reported earlier.
On the other hand, PTA demand has remained sluggish, hit by persisting weakness in China's polyester demand. Polyester demand season is now over and polyester sales/production ratio is reported at 50% currently down from 150% in the previous week.