01 May 2012 12:32 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS petrochemical index (IPEX) for May has remained relatively flat at 359.91, close to its revised* April figure of 360.01.
Further improvements were seen in the US and European indices, with growth of 0.8% and 1.4% in dollar terms respectively, in spite of the dollar strengthening by 0.5% against the euro over the same period. These gains offset a 1.0% downturn in the Asian component.
Chemicals in the IPEX basket are displaying similar price trends to last month, although the increases are not as strong this month. Butadiene (BD) in the ?xml:namespace>
In contrast, BD prices in Asia slumped by just over 7%, stemming from weak downstream demand as several synthetic rubber plants have either been shut for maintenance or running at reduced operating rates. The main end-use for BD-derived downstream products such as butadiene rubbers is the automotive industry, which has been impacted greatly by the slowdown of the major Asian economies such as
Polystyrene (PS) and paraxylene (PX) are the only chemicals to experience lower prices in all three regions in dollar terms. PX prices are driven by Asia, which had a fall of almost 4%, with Europe following suit and the
In general, the aromatics sub-index of the IPEX was the most hit, with price decreases of around 2% on average for all three regions. Benzene fell the most in
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
* The April IPEX has been revised from 359.21 to 360.01, following incorporation of the
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