As expected, European PET prices fell again in December 2018. The cost reference for paraxylene went down for the third month running following the jump in September. In particular, this influenced business at the lower end of the range, which tends to be somewhat more extensive.
The niches at the upper end, by contrast, remained more stable. The open market also experienced further stabilisation. Import pressure eased somewhat, because suppliers were able to achieve consolidation in Asia. Despite this and the force majeure in Rotterdam, The Netherlands scarcely imposed any restrictions. This, in turn, was on account of the subdued level of demand typical of the low season.
The oil and petrochemical chains gave way still further in the second half of December. This will doubtless also have been reflected in the paraxylene reference for January 2019. A further reduction in costs should also prompt additional reductions for PET at a time of sluggish demand.