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US polyethylene terephthalate domestic prices increased

April 01/2011

(ICIS) -- US polyethylene terephthalate (PET) domestic prices increased by 5-7 cents/lb in March on high raw material costs, tight supply and strong demand, sources said on Thursday. Domestic prices for bottle grade PET were assessed by ICIS at 99.50-101.50 cents/lb (USD 2.194-2.238/tonne, EUR 1.558-1589/tonne) DEL (delivered), representing an increase of 5.29 cents/lb.

While several producers achieved their targeted March price increase of 7 cents/lb, sources said that the majority of prices were settled at or just below 100 cents/lb.

The primary driver for PET price hikes was the conclusion of the March paraxylene (PX) contract price at a split settlement of 84.75 cents/lb and 85.50 cents/lb DEL, up 2.75 and 3.50 cents/lb respectively from the February price.

This resulted in a March contract price for downstream purified terephthalic acid (PTA) of 70.68-70.78 cents/lb DEL, up 2.10 cents/lb from February. PTA is the principal feedstock for PET.

PET producers said their margins had been severely eroded in recent months, and the current strong market fundamentals provided an opportunity to remedy this situation.

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