WEB EXCLUSIVE: Prices of PET bottle grades have dropped an average of 7¢ since March, which puts them 8¢ below last year’s average prices. Industry sources attribute this slide to lower feedstock costs, lower demand for beverages due to a colder-than-normal spring in both the East Coast and Midwest, and the continued trend to lightweighting bottles. All this is compounded by an already oversupplied North American market, with an excess capacity of nearly 2 billion lb, and domestic PET demand that is not expected to grow more than 2% annually for the next few years. Similar oversupply is taking place in other regions of the world, with global plant operating rates now estimated to be under 80%.
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