Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) prices rolled over in Europe on most accounts, stabilizing at high levels reached earlier in the year. Signs of softer values after the summer did not translate into lower prices in Q4 as cost pressures increased again.
During the first half of the year, production issues, high costs, and logistic problems pushed prices up substantially. Later in the year, some lower prices were offered, but recently the high energy costs complicated negotiations and led to rollovers.
With little to suggest a major shift in current market dynamics in the short term, players will likely negotiate rollovers also in Q1. The rollovers resulted in PBT GF30 FR to remain around €4,500/mt DDP. This level is substantially higher than the €3,050/mt DDP before the pandemic.
Moreover, the tight market pushed some buyers to seek alternative sources, pushing prices above €5,000/mt for some.
Europe during the past few years has turned into a major importer of PBT from Asia. Therefore, the increases in freight rates, disruptions, and delays played a major part to shorten supply.
And as the rise in the cost of the raw material butanediol (BDO) is due to structural factors, PBT prices are unlikely to retreat to previous levels any time soon.