October was a month of no change in the situation facing Germany’s PET recyclers compared with September. Flake and recycled pellet sales remain disappointing. The market had recently encountered a slight uptick in primary PET prices, especially as the Belgian producer JBF temporarily idled two lines because of poor market conditions in recent weeks to stem its losses. Sources continue to report cheap primary PET imports from Asia and Egypt, too. Market players told EUWID that European producers had curbed their output to reduce the supply surplus.
Most recyclers reported unchanged selling prices for flakes and regranulate in October. They feel that prices have now bottomed out. For the first time in quite a while, a few companies are attempting to institute small mark-ups for November. The gap between prices for flakes and those for European primary PET was adequate, but cheap imports from Asia and the Middle East were making business more difficult, one merchant remarked.
EUWID sources are mostly sceptical that the rest of the year will have anything positive in store. Many market players do not expect a fundamental improvement in demand until the end of the second quarter of 2024. Recyclers hope that the market will stage a significant recovery by next summer, given that minimum recycled content targets will apply to single-use PET beverage bottles from 2025 onwards. Market insiders are also carefully following the debate in Brussels around giving beverage companies a "right of first refusal" for recycled PET under the forthcoming EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).
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