Price and market trends: Rising Asia olefins prices boost Feb chem prices – IPEX

15 March 2013 09:22  [Source: ICB]

European component remains flat after taking into account a 0.8% weakening of the dollar

Global chemical prices rose by approximately 1.9% in February compared with January, lifted by a strong rise in olefins prices in Asia, according to the March ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX).

The IPEX, which tracks changes in global prices in dollar terms for 12 petrochemical products, reached 347.68 for March from a revised February figure of 341.08*.

The Asian component had the largest hike, rising by 3.1%, mainly boosted by increased olefins prices and soaring butadiene (BD) prices in February.

BD prices had racked up gains in 2013 of 24% by mid-February, but prices are expected to stop rising soon as the spikes were largely driven by speculative trades.

The US component rose by 1.4, as the olefins sub-index rose by 4.2% off the back of propylene prices. Polymers made price gains of 2.4%, mainly on higher polypropylene (PP) prices, while the aromatics sub-index sank by 1.4%.

The European component was flat after taking into account a 0.8% weakening of the dollar. Lifts in propylene and polymer prices were offset by falls in aromatics.

Published at the beginning of each month, the IPEX provides an independent indicator of average change in world petrochemical prices. The IPEX basket of 12 products comprises ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene (PX), styrene, methanol, BD, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), PP and polystyrene (PS).

*The February IPEX has been ­revised from 340.88 to 341.08 following settlement of the January US styrene contract price.

Author: Afsar Hussain

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