RPET Supply & Prices Stable

Fourth-quarter RPET should not see any big moves.

Despite potentially disruptive market factors, the overall outlook for recycled PET prices and availability is stable for the fourth quarter.

While there was a major malfunction at BP’s PTA feedstock plant a couple of months ago, analysts say that is not really affecting overall PET production, but rather only individual resin suppliers. Demand for resin is strong, but buyers still have access to imports. In the face of announced price hikes, virgin resin prices have moved upward a bit, but some of the price increase attempts have been rescinded, recyclers say.

East Coast RPET suppliers say they have seen demand from buyers who usually look for wide-spec, and that interest does not seem to be going away. It’s a very price-conscious market, so RPET prices are not likely to go up, even with strong demand. Reprocessors also see the beginnings of the seasonal fourth-quarter slowdown in demand in post-consumer markets, which probably will help keep prices stable. They are not expecting prices to decline.

On the West Coast, there is still a lot of demand for RPET. Prices are lower there because of Mexican imports. That material affects the flake side because washed flake from Mexico is available at 52 ¢/lb. With bale prices in the 28-29.5¢ range, pellet prices would normally be in the 60s, but actual prices are much lower, at least for those buying material for sheet, according to reports from reprocessors.

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