LONDON 07-May-20 — The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) plunged in April as the impact of the falling oil price and coronavirus-driven demand destruction slammed the sector.
The global index stands at a level last seen in November 2003 and is just below that in January 2009.
Each of the regional components of the global index fell sharply month on month as petrochemical and plastic prices fell across the board. The index charts the largely contract and average monthly price movements of a basket of the 12 major petrochemicals and plastics.
Aromatics prices fell steeply and quickly in April as the falling value of naphtha worked its way through the regional markets. Petrochemicals prices are impacted by the drop in crude oil and the negative market sentiment of oversupply as coronavirus lockdowns across large areas of the globe hit downstream and end-use product demand.
Some of the polymers have been least affected by the lockdowns although in terms of price, the drops for products such as polypropylene in the US and polystyrene in Europe were still in the 5-6% range.
Contracts yet to settle for April are: US paraxylene, US polyethylene, and Asia paraxylene.
The ICIS petrochemical index tracks the movement of 12 major petrochemicals and polymers: ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene (PX), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), styrene, polystyrene (PS), methanol and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with the regional indexes weighted by capacity.
ICIS is the trusted source of Independent Commodity Intelligence Services for the global energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries. We are a division of RELX, a FTSE 20 company with a market cap of £35 billion and an employee base of over 30,000 experts across 40 countries.
At ICIS, we help businesses make strategic decisions, mitigate risk, improve productivity and capitalise on new opportunities. We make some of the world’s most important markets more trusted and predictable by providing data services, thought leadership and decision tools. As a result of our unmatched global presence, we can deliver targeted connected intelligence to influence thousands of decisions across supply chains every single day. We shape the world by connecting markets to optimise the world’s valuable resources. With a global team of more than 600 experts, ICIS has employees based in London, New York, Houston, Karlsruhe, Milan, Mumbai, Singapore, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo and Perth.
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