Due to a strong Chinese polyester market, the paraxylene (PX) and terephthalic acid (PTA) markets have benefitted from better demand in 2017, but not necessarily improved profitability. A surge in gasoline demand in the second half of the year hit paraxylene margins again and financial difficulties faced a couple of polyester resin companies building new PTA plants in India and the US. The sector continues to be a difficult environment into which to invest but China and the Middle East plan to add more capacity. How this affects other global players in the industry will be analysed? What future margins look like and when they recover will be reviewed. What is a realistic outlook for these sectors?
Vice President, Aromatics & Fibres, IHS Markit