The market has found new lows amid competitive imports and persistent low demand.
PBT prices decreased from Q3 to Q4 on the back of a persistent weak market.
Prices were assessed €20-50/mt down, according to GC Intelligence market analysis.
The main reason for the decrease was the ongoing slow demand.
While demand has rebounded from the lows reached in the spring, it is far away from fully recovering.
Most players noted that in October activity was still 10-15% lower than last year.
PBT decreased from Q3 to Q4 also because of persistent competition from imports.
As the Chinese economy rebounded, imports of many engineering polymers have slowed down.
But this does not seem to have happened for Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT).
Despite the substantial slowdown in activity, imports from Asia have remained competitive.
Most likely, this is to do with the fact that PBT has to meet stringent specifications in many applications.
Therefore, from an importer’s standpoint, it is difficult to re-enter the market at will. As such, the flow of imports tends to be constant over time, more so than other polymers such as ABS for instance.
In the next few months, prices are unlikely to rebound amid a second wave of the coronavirus.
And there is great concern that the current disruptions could continue for much of 2021.