The trend on Europe’s PET market remained unbroken at the start of the year. The downward movement continued on into January 2019, although at a more moderate pace than during the previous month.

The cost reference for paraxylene fell again in January, marking the fourth successive month of decline. The outages in European production are scarcely having an impact since sufficient imported material is available. Production has also restarted already following the Force Majeure in Rotterdam and was set to return to normal by mid-February.

Demand remained at a weak level commensurate with the season. The cost side should stabilise somewhat. The recent turnaround on the crude oil market, together with increasing spot prices and firmer Asian PX markets ought to shore up the European PET market too. Demand is, however, likely to remain low, as is customary for the season.