ICIS IPEX plunges by record 27% for December

02 December 2008 20:19  [Source: ICIS news]

IPEX takes another plungeHOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for December plunged by a record 27% to 211.44, eclipsing November's record month-over-month decline and reflecting predictions that global economic conditions would worsen before they improve.

This is the third consecutive month of record declines in the IPEX, as demand contraction and volatile financial markets continue to weaken energy prices and diminish petrochemical values.

November's IPEX was 288.01, down 13% from October's 331.83.

Benzene values led losers with a nose-dive of 62% globally.

Benzene prices were down by 75% in the US, due to softening oil prices, weak demand and oversupply stemming partly from cheaper imports due to a stronger US dollar. Benzene declined by 41% in Europe and by 49% in Asia.

Among products falling by more than 20% were toluene, ethylene, propylene, butadiene and styrene.

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).

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For more on ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene, styrene, methanol, butadiene, polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene visit ICIS chemicals intelligence

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