Nov ICIS IPEX down 13% on weak economy, energy

04 November 2008 17:59  [Source: ICIS news]

European aromatics prices diveHOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for November plummeted by a record 13% to 288.01 from October's reading of 331.83 on a combination of global economic woes and declining energy values.

The previous record percentage month-on-month decline was a 10.4% fall in October.

All 12 products in the IPEX portfolio declined in November, led by a 29% nosedive in benzene.

The plunge in benzene was led by Europe, where values crashed 63%.

Propylene tumbled by 23% on a global basis, reacting to oil prices that dropped by about 35% in October.

Percentage falls in seven other commodity chemicals reached double digits.

Among the chemicals posting relatively smaller declines, styrene dropped by only 1.3%, saved from a bigger drop by inertia in contract settlements due to benzene's collapse.

Other relatively resilient values were for polystyrene (PS), down by 6.5%, and methanol, down by 5.3%.

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

For more on commodity chemicals visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Larry Terry
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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