Corrected: IPEX petrochemical index down 0.4%

04 September 2007 19:46  [Source: ICIS news]

IPEX slides on cooler energy prices and forexCorrection: In the ICIS news story headlined “IPEX petrochemical index down 0.4% in September” dated 4 September 2007, please read in the first paragraph ...foreign exchange movements … instead of … weaker dollar….and in the eighth paragraph … US dollar versus the euro … instead of … euro versus the US dollar….A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for September fell 0.4% to a reading of 273.69 points from 274.87 in August, as an overall decline in energy prices coupled with foreign exchange movements halted the upward trend, ICIS pricing said on Tuesday.

The fall was the first decrease after four consecutive months of increases. The IPEX is 0.9% higher than a year earlier, the global chemical intelligence service said.

Six of the 12 petrochemical grades in the IPEX basket rose in August, while six fell.

The most significant drop was a 5.9% loss in global benzene prices, led by a 7.3% plunge in Europe.

Weaker demand and an overall decline in global energy prices pushed benzene prices lower. Specifically, lower crude prices and the anticipation of reduced overall benzene demand in September were given as reasons why producers lowered prices in August, sources said.

In contrast, global polyethylene (PE) prices rose 3.3%, including a 5.2% surge in Europe.

Global PE demand has been strong and inventories low. Although prices in the US remained unchanged in August, prices in Europe and Asia both rose higher during that same time. In Europe, the high cost of naphtha feedstock was also a reason producers increased prices. Production issues in the UK, Austria and Germany also affected supply.

While European prices for several products in the IPEX basket remained unchanged from one month ago, the stronger US dollar versus the euro resulted in lower US dollar/tonne conversions, also contributing to a lower IPEX value.

Published at the beginning of each month, the IPEX provides an independent indicator of average change in world petrochemical prices. Dating back to January 1993, historical ICIS prices for a basket of 12 essential petrochemical grades in the US, western European and the northeast Asian markets have been weighted by regional nameplate capacity to generate a monthly index value.

The IPEX product basket comprises ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene (PX), styrene, methanol, butadiene (BD), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), PE, polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS).

By: Tracy Dulle
+1 713 525 2653

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