Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) Properties, Production, Price, and Market

Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) is a very important raw material as is it a precursor to mostly vastly used plastics polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polybutyl terephthalate(PBT) and bioplastics that is in high demand. Also, it is vastly used in making clothes and plastic bottles.


 

pta_based_pet_bottle

What is Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA)?

It is a raw material which is used in the production of high-performance multipurpose plastics like polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) and even forms of bioplastics.

It also finds its vast usage in the production of polyester fibers in the global market. They are used to manufacture polyester coating resins for manufacturing general metal, appliances, automotive, industrial maintenance even coil coatings.


History

The first unit for producing PTA was set up in 1961 and the second one was set up in 1991. However, the production of this resin was already pre-planned in the year 1967 when Amoco Chemicals Belgium was established.


Properties

PTA is majorly used as a prominent raw material for producing a variety of thermoplastics.  It has unique features which enhance its ability to be used as a raw material. These properties include:

  • Excellent weathering
  • Resistance towards chemicals & stains
  • Hard & Flexible
  • Good glass transition temperature range
  • Efficient powder flow & fluidizing characteristics.

Physical Properties

Density – 1.522 g/cm3

Melting Point – 427 degrees C

Boiling Point – Decomposes

Acidity – 3.51, 4.28[1]


Global Production

Production Process

Since 1960s TPA is produced by bromine promoted catalytic oxidation of p-xylene, and then is purified by the process of hydrogenation. However several improvements have been done in this production process (oxidation & purification both).

Later in the year 2000, the new production process was developed named as “X Technology”. This new process involves innovative methods for recycling of water and better solid-liquid separation techniques.

As a result of this innovative technique, PTA was produced in lower capital and at low operating cost.

Global Production of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA)

Global Production Capacity of Purified Terephthalic Acid

There has been a continuous rise in the production of PTA due to rising demand from polyester fiber market and all other end-segments including construction, electronics, textiles, beverages & packaging etc.

In 2016 the production capacity for PTA reached 80 million tons from 71 million tons in 2104 and the amount of PTA produced in 2016 was 61.2 million tons from 54.5 million ton (in 2014).

Production of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) in Asia

Production of PTA in Asia

Asia-Pacific has shown a significant amount of increase in the production of PTA in the global market in the recent years owing to its increased demand from end segment.

The production capacity of Asian countries has increased from 58.76 million tons in 2014 to 68.34 million tons in 2016 and the production has increased from 46.22(2014) million tons to 51.06 million tons in 2016.

There is a continuous increase in the level of production due to increasing demand for usage. The factors driving Asian market demand are:

  • Increased demand for food & beverages, textile, construction sectors.
  • Growing industrialization, population & foreign direct investment in Asian regions.
  • Expansion in packaging industry along with growing market for paints & coatings.

Primarily India, China & Asia have the maximum contribution in the production & consumption of PTA among all other Asian regions.

World’s Top 10 Manufactures of PTA 

World Top 10 Manufacturers of PTA

PTA is a highly competitive market with a number of players operating in this market. The leading manufacturer among all others in 2016 was Yisheng with the production of 13.2 million tons annually.

It is further followed by Heng Li and BP with the annual production of 6.9 and 6.7 million tons.

Other top manufacturers include RIL (4.9 mn tons), Xianglu (4.5 mn tons), Indorama (3.7 mn tons), Yuandong (3.2 mn tons), Hailum (3 mn tons), FCFC (2.9 mn tons) and Hanbang with (2.8 mn tons).


Purified Terephthalic Acid Trading Price

Global Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) Market Insight

Market Demand Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) by Region

As depicted by the chart Asia-Pacific dominates the market demand for PTA in 2016 by holding 77 percent of the total market share. The total market demand was 77.5 million tonnes

Among all the regions China holds the largest share of 57% in global market demand owing to its increasing industrialization, population, investments and growing demand from different sectors (construction, textile, beverages & packaging etc).

Excluding China, Asia alone holds 20% share in the market demand due to its continuous growth and consumption of PTA. This 20 % of demand is majorly dominated by India & Singapore where demand for PTA is growing for producing polyester fibers, carbonated bottles and in the packaging of goods.

Remaining geographical segments include North America, Europe, and Middle East Africa. They witness a steady growth with low market share. North America holds 7% of the market share followed by Europe & Middle East Africa with 6% and 2 % market shares accordingly.

The market demand in these regions depends on the growing demand for PET bottles and rising packaging industry for consumables and other durable products.

Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) Market Demand by End Segment

The major demand for PTA comes from Polyester fiber, films, and PET bottles. Among all the end-segment products Polyester fiber dominates the market demand by holding 65% of the market share in the global market demand. The total market demand stood at 77.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Polyester fiber used PTA as raw material and these fibers are further used to manufacture carpets, apparels, ropes, sportswear etc. Thus, the textile fiber industry has the maximum requirement of this material.

Demand from the polyester fiber is further followed by PET bottles, it holds 27% of the market share in the global market demand. PTA is commonly used in the production of carbonated PET bottles (used mostly for soft drinks & juices).

Films also use it as a raw material in the production process. They contribute to remaining 8% of the total market demand. These films are further used in pipes, packaging sheets, containers etc.

Market Forecast of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA)

Global Market Forecast of PTA

PTA resins are being utilized across the world owing to there advantages & characteristics.The market size of these resins is projected to reach 82.8 million tonnes by 2020 with a CAGR of 1.7% during the forecast period.

Market Drivers

  • Growing demand for PTA in the production of carbonated plastic bottles due to its flexibility & toughness.
  • It is used as a raw material for polyester films owing to its toughness & dimensional stability and increased consumption of these films in photographic films, data storage tapes & sheets fuel the market demand.
  • Rising demand from paints & coating industry.
  • Market demand is highly accelerated by food & beverages and pharmaceutical packaging industries.
  • Increasing use in other end-segment industries including construction, marine, transport & wind energy.
  • Rising per capita income & growing disposable income in developing countries like India and China is also fueling the demand from these regions.

Market Restraints

  • Volatile crude oil prices.
  • Stringent regulations for environmental protection.
  • High toxicity level which affects human health (eye or mild skin irritations etc).

Regional Insights

Asian-Pacific regions are expected to dominate the market owing to growth in food & beverages, packaging, and construction sector.

The other prominent growing regional markets include North America & China. The market demand in these regions is growing due to increasing number of PET bottle industries.

Competitive Insights

Key market players in the global market are Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre Company, Mitsui Chemicals, Reliance Industries Limited, Eastman Chemical Company, DuPont and Formosa Plastics Group.


Global Trade of PTA

Terephthalic Acid Trade Balance

Trade Balance of Terephthalic Acid

The trade of terephthalic acid is showing a decreasing trend from 2011 to 2016. The trade balance is also negative during this period. The exports of terephthalic acid in 2016 was US$ 3.23 bn while the imports were US$ 3.89bn.

Top 10 Countries Exporting Terephthalic Acid

op 10 Exporter of Terephthalic Acid

South Korea is the largest exporter of terephthalic acid in 2016. It exported the material worth of US$ 1.076bn followed by Thailand which exported the material worth US$ 564.7mn.

The export market of terephthalic acid is dominated by Asian countries. Other leading exporters in 2016 were Mexico (US$ 453.7mn), China (US$ 419mn), Poland (US$ 268.5mn), India (US$ 172.6mn), Taiwan (US$ 120mn), Malaysia (US$ 47.7mn), Indonesia (US$ 39.4mn) and Japan (US$ 24.3mn).

Top 10 Countries Importing Terephthalic Acid

Top 10 Importer of Terephthalic Acid

The United States is the largest importer of terephthalic acid in 2016. It imported material worth US$ 654.5 mn. The rising demand is because of growth from the end-segment market of PET resin, polyester powder coating, and polyester resins.

The second largest importer was Germany. The import value accounted for US$ 367.5 mn. The other leading importer were Turkey (US$ 331.2mn), Lithuania (US$ 315.1mn), China (US$ 302.6mn), India (US$ 255mn), Brazil (US$ 203.5mn), Italy (US$ 172.7mn), Spain (US$ 162mn) and UAE (US$ 143.2mn)


Applications & Usage

Primarily PTA is used as a raw material in the production of terephthalate plasticizers such as dioctyl terephthalate and dibutyl terephthalate and other forms of thermoplastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or Polybutyl terephthalate (PBT) etc.

They find their basic usage being used as a raw material in following forms:

  • Automotive OEM
  • Polyester polyols for polyurethanes
  • Powder coating resins
  • Polyester-melamine breaking enamels
  • Unsaturated resins
  • Water-based polyester resins

Other Applications include:

  • Polyester fibers based on PTA as raw materials provide easy fabric care and natural appearance
  • Polyester films using PTA as raw materials are highly used in audio & video recording tapes, data storage tapes photographic films, labels and other sheets.
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) using PTA as a raw material is majorly used in the production of carbonated beverages bottles or bottled water bottles.
  • It is even used in paints as a carrier.
  • Pharmaceutical industries use it as a raw material in the production of several drugs.
  • PTA based on polyesters & polyamides is also used in hot melt adhesives.