ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) up 2.4% in June

03 June 2008 17:41  [Source: ICIS news]

IPEX numbers continue to riseHOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for June rose to 327.32, a gain of 2.4% over the May reading of 319.55.

Although the rate of increase declined from the 3.6% jump in the May IPEX from April, all 12 products in the IPEX portfolio reflected increases this month.

The index has risen by 21% from its June 2007 level of 270.47 points.

Despite some recent weakness in the energy complex, oil and petrochemical feedstocks remain elevated. NYMEX crude futures are nearly double their year-ago price levels, and propylene is up about 30% year-over-year.

The leading gainer for June was benzene, up 6.6% globally due largely to upstream crude oil prices. Benzene led regionally by an increase of 13.1% in Europe.

Toluene was the next-strongest performer with a global increase of 6.2%, weakening from last month's 8.2% gain, however.

Also reflecting upstream pressures, propylene led the remainder of the portfolio with an increase of 3.7% for the period, followed closely by polypropylene at 3.4%.

Propylene prices were, by far, strongest in the US, with an increase of 6.2%.

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 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, PVC, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS).

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By: Larry Terry
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