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Insight | Time: Jan 9 2019 3:03PM
Major events of China recycled industry in 2018
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Jan HC re-PSF prices welcomed a round of upswing supported by higher feedstock with tight supply.
Feb Recycled plants set off for Spring Festival earlier and were late to resume operation.
Mar With lower prices of PET chip, prices of PET chip were lower than that of PET flakes, weighing on PET flake market, and buyers procured PET chip.
Apr China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) announced April 19, 2018, that China will ban imports of 32 types of scrap materials (which the MEE labels as “solid waste”). Sixteen materials, including scrap metals considered “Category 7” such as motors and wire and cable scrap, will be banned from import beginning Dec. 31, 2018. Another 16 types, including some forms of stainless steel scrap, will be banned beginning Dec. 31, 2019.
May On May 14, rumors went that high-end A, B and C class of clean PET flakes were allowed to be imported as common commodity. Yet as CCIB (China Commodity Inspection Bureau) and China Customs have integrated, the inspection standard and operation requirements have not settled down;
Virgin PSF seized the market shares quickly.
Jun Clean flakes arrived at port successively, while domestic PET flakes kept downward and overseas PET flakes moved up.
Jul Clean flakes were cleared successively.
Aug Xiamen Customs seized 1,596 tons of PET flakes, which was not allowed to import and failed to meet environmental protection requirement. Polyester feedstock prices kept up, and recycled chemical fibers followed up.
Sep Re-PFY prices hit a five-year new high, leading the recycled chemical fibers;
but PTA slumped in mid-Sep, and polyester fibers ticked down overall, causing the lower recycled chemical fibers;
Clean flakes standards amendment was officially discussed.
Oct Part of recycled chemical fiber plants set off for Autumn Festival and National Day holidays, so operating rate declined;
Polyester feedstock prices continued to fall, weighing on recycled chemical fiber markets;
Prices of PET flakes and PET chip went apart.
Nov Price edge of recycled chemical fibers reduced with lower polymerization costs;
Low prices of HC PSF impacted the market.
Dec Easing situation of trade war after Xi Jinping and Donald Trump met on G20 Summit;
Some plants cut production or set off for holidays earlier due to sluggish downstream markets;
Customs continued to impact solid waste imports;
Some clean flakes continued to be uncleared at ports.

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