15 March 2012 13:42 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US wholesale prices for basic organic chemicals shot up by 6.4% in February from January, the Labor Department said on Thursday, contributing to a 0.4% rise in prices for overall finished goods at the producer level.
Prices for plastic resins and materials at the producer level – also known as the wholesale price – rose last month as well but by a more modest 0.3%.
The sharp gain in wholesale prices for organic chemicals compared with a 4.4% decline in prices at the producer level in January, and a 4% fall in December.
The narrow 0.3% rise in producer prices for plastic resins is in contrast to the 3.6% bump in wholesale prices in this category for January. This followed a 4.5% price decline in December.
In wholesale prices for overall finished goods, the February gain of 0.4% followed a 0.1% bump in January and a 0.1% decline in December.
The department said that last month’s advance in its closely watched producer price index (PPI) was driven in large part by a 1.3% gain in energy products, especially a 4.3% jump in wholesale gasoline prices.
Gains in producer prices for residential electric power and home heating oil also helped boost the PPI, the department said.
Although the department tracks producer prices on hundreds of commodities and products, it does not offer analysis or explanation for those price shifts.
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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