July IPEX sees first fall in 10 months

06 July 2011 16:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for July experienced its first pull back in 10 months, decreasing by 2.8% to 364.35 from the revised* June figure of 374.94. The downward move followed an easing of upstream crude oil prices, and some concerns over global macroeconomic and sustainability issues.

An easing of prices was seen across all regional US dollar denominated sub-indexes, with the US experiencing the greatest fall, of 4.9%, followed by northeast Asia, which fell 2.8% and northwest Europe – the most resilient, seeing only a 0.6% decrease. A 0.7% weakening of the dollar against the euro was also seen over the same period.

Bearish sentiment was seen across 11 of the 12 groups of chemicals, with the butadiene (BD) group the only one bucking the trend. BD prices surged 14.0% in Europe, with gains of 9.4% and 4.9% seen in Asia and the US, respectively. The BD industry is still experiencing considerable demand, despite soaring prices.

Double-digit percentage declines, in US dollar terms, were seen in US propylene and polystyrene (PS), northeast Asian ethylene and northwest European benzene. Price declines were seen in 25 of the 36 IPEX basket chemicals.

July IPEX sees first fall in 10 monthsPublished 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 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 (PX), styrene, methanol, BD, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and PS.

The June IPEX has been revised from 374.37 to 374.94, following incorporation of the US May styrene contract. This month’s index is also subject to revision once the US June ethylene and styrene contracts settle.

*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 pricing intelligence please visit ICIS pricing

Author: Regan Hartnell

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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

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