The formation of the FeTe compound from a mixture of Fe and Te powders was studied in situ by means of high-energy synchrotron X-ray diffraction. FeTe does not form directly from the starting elements; instead, FeTe2 forms as an intermediate product. During a 2 ��C/min heating ramp, Te first reacts between 200 and 350 ��C with a part of the Fe powder to form FeTe 2, which then further reacts between 350 and 530 ��C with the remaining Fe to yield FeTe. This phase formation path is simpler than in the case of FeSe and the differences are discussed in terms of the equilibrium phase diagrams of these two systems. �� 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.