March ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) rises 0.7%

04 March 2008 22:33  [Source: ICIS news]

IPEX risesHOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for March rose to 306.97, an increase of 0.7% from February’s reading of 304.72.

The index has now risen for five consecutive months, but the rate of increase in March slowed sharply from February’s 3.4% climb.

The IPEX is now 20% higher than in March 2007.

Among the 12 products within the index, eight rose and four declined. But across most of the petrochemicals, changes were small.

The most dramatic decline was in methanol, which on a global basis dropped by 6.7%. Although prices rose marginally in Europe and fell by 2.7% in Asia, US prices dropped by 16%, due partly to a temporary glut of supply in January that caused spot prices to plunge.

Despite some gains in Europe, ethylene and propylene also declined, with flat-to-lower pricing in the US and Asia during February.

Benzene was the most significant gainer, up 9.2% globally.

That advance was led by the US, where prices rose 12%. Asia and Europe saw increases of 5.9% and 9.5%, respectively.

US March benzene contracts rose amid elevated spot prices and stronger energy values.

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 Europe, 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, styrene, methanol, butadiene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS).



By: Larry Terry
1 713 525 2653

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ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index