(ICIS) -- Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) prices in Asia hit an 11-month low and may continue falling, dragged down by declining values of feedstock paraxylene (PX), accompanied by slowing demand from the downstream polyester sector, industry sources said on Friday.
Spot PTA prices fell $60-65/tonne on 20 October to $1,080-1,120/tonne (┬788-818/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) CMP (China Main Port), levels last seen in early November 2010, while PX prices fell by $82/tonnne to $1,473-1,483/tonne CFR Taiwan/CMP, according to ICIS.
Panic-selling caused by sharp falls in PX values drove spot PTA prices down on Thursday, with values in the PTA futures market declining 6%. PTA offers declined as traders attempt to liquidate long positions, market sources said.
Decreasing export orders for China's major textile products on the back of continued weakness in the US economy and the debt crisis in the eurozone, as well as rising cloth inventory at Chinese factories, has dampened buying interest for polyester products, translating to much weaker consumption of PTA, industry sources said.
This week, the sales-to-output ratio of most polyester plants in China has declined to 50-70% in the past month from around 100% in early September.