Processors of very different applications are to be served by these two recently announced capacity expansions. M&G's announcement, made last month, involves construction of a massive plant in the U.S. to supply bottle-grade PET for packaging, whereas the SKC project in Korea will increase its capacity of premium optical-grade PET, which is primarily used in the production of high-end films for consumer electronics.
The announcements come as plastics pricing service ChemOrbis notes that in Asia the prices demanded for PET, after two months of falling, have firmed up in the past week due to firmer monoethylene glycol (MEG) costs in the spot market. Now, spot MEG prices indicate increases of $60/ton on a CFR China basis are seen, compared with the beginning of May, while they are $65/ton higher on a week-over-week basis.
These increases resulted from Taiwan's Nan Ya Plastics' shutdown of its 360,000 tons/year and 700,000 tons/year MEG plants in Mailiao, Taiwan. These shutdowns came on top of shutdowns at two other plants of Nan Ya with capacities of 360,000 tons/year each, with those two plants shut May 12 after a fire at its feedstock supplier, Formosa Petrochemical. With all of the company's MEG plants shut as of June 1, the company declared force majeure on MEG exports and spot prices shot higher. ...