January IPEX reaches highest level since October 2008

11 January 2011 14:51  [Source: ICIS news]

By Alexandra Sukanegara

LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for January has climbed by 2.2% from last month to 300.30, the sixth consecutive monthly increase and the index’s highest level since October 2008.

The January IPEX improved from the revised* December 2010 figure of 293.83.

The higher January IPEX primarily resulted from a 3.2% improvement in the Asia component of the index, which has also risen to its highest level since October 2008.

The largest price hike was for ethylene in Asia, which rose by nearly 15% as a result of firm crude and naphtha values and high demand from China and South Korea.

Firmer polymer prices in the US, particularly for polystyrene (PS), was a key factor in increasing that region’s component of the index by 2.7%, which was the same level in June 2010.

The majority of prices in Europe increased in euro terms. However, due to the stronger US dollar, the Europe component of the index fell by 0.5% in US dollar terms.

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 products in the US, western Europe and northeast Asia markets have been weighted by regional nameplate capacity to generate a monthly index value.

The IPEX product basket comprises ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene (PX), styrene, methanol, butadiene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and PS.

The December IPEX was revised from 292.53 to 293.83 following the incorporation of the US November ethylene and styrene contract settlements. This month’s index is also subject to revision once the US December styrene contract settles.

The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for January

*As of July 2010, the index has been revised retrospectively to replace the latest available contract prices at the time of publication that had previously been used in the data series with actual settled contract prices. This has had the effect of moving the derived IPEX index from an estimated status to an actual status. The revised historical IPEX data is available from ICIS on request.

Click here for a full methodology of the revised IPEX
For more on the petrochemicals in the IPEX, visit
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By: Staff Reporter
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