02 June 2009 22:42 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) rose again in June to 196.33, but the 3.5% increase over May reflected a slower rate of recovery than in the previous month, when the IPEX grew by 3.7%.
Despite strong aromatics pricing and higher feedstock propylene pricing in the US and Europe during the current period, sources continued to lament weak year-over-year demand from many sectors.
Of the 12 products in the IPEX portfolio, the only decliner, globally, was polypropylene (PP), down by 0.2% overall due partly to flat values in Europe and a decline of 2.5% in Asia due to ample supply and a weak Chinese market.
Benzene rose on higher offers and contracts prompted by rising energy prices since the beginning of the year, sources said. In the US, benzene has risen nearly 120% since January, and NYMEX crude has increased by more than 34% since April.
For the month, benzene was strongest in Europe, where prices were up by 27%, and in the US, which saw a 23% increase. In Asia, benzene prices also rose, but at a marginally improved pace of 3.5% versus 3.4% a month earlier.
Most other IPEX products grew at rates of 1-4%.
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 (PS).
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Note: Historical IPEX data is available from ICIS upon request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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