01 December 2009 16:32 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) rose 3.0% to 246.80 in December as stronger demand helped producers in Asia implement substantial price hikes after two months of falling global chemical values.
The index rose by 7.3, from 239.50 in November, as prices for most of chemicals in the index increased across the three main global regions. Styrene, butadiene (BD) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were the only chemicals for which the average global prices fell.
Asia also saw a 5.1% drop in BD prices, foreshadowing a similar decrease expected in upcoming US December contracts.
The increase in the index came amid a global economy recovering from a prolonged recession. Crude oil prices were mostly steady for the month, with January contracts closing at $77.30/bbl on 30 November compared with December contracts at $80.26/bbl on 3 November.
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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