INSIGHT INTERACTIVE: Global IPEX bucks crude oil trend, falls 0.9% in November

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (ICIS)--Falling butadiene (BD) prices and higher priced benzene were the main influences on the ICIS regional and global petrochemical indexes in November, which fell 0.9% and bucked the upward trend in crude oil prices, ICIS data showed on Tuesday.

BD prices fell 16.6% in November month on month in northeast Asia and were down 13.5% in the US and down 11% in northwest Europe, ICIS data show.

Meanwhile, benzene prices, reacting to higher priced crude and a tight US market, were up 6.7% in northeast Asia for the month and up 4.8% in northwest Europe. In the US, benzene prices stood 4% higher in November.

European crude oil prices averaged in November $62.71/bbl, up from October's average of $57.20/bbl, according to ICIS data.

The global ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) has been falling since September and was 0.9% lower in November, reflecting a fall of 2% in the northwest Europe regional index alongside a fall of 0.4% in the US index, as well as a drop of 0.6% in the index for northeast Asia.

Petrochemical prices were still much higher year on year, however, and are reflected in the IEPX values.

The global IPEX was up 10% in November 2017 compared with November 2016.

The downward pressure on the northeast Europe index month to month in November came from the lower BD contract price and a 7% fall in the styrene contract price, following a sharp increase in September which had put pressure on downstream polystyrene (PS) producers.

Other notable price movements for November were a 4.3% fall in the US ethylene contract price and a 4.1% increase in toluene prices in northwest Europe and northeast Asia.

Other price changes were a near 6% increase in paraxylene (PX) prices in northeast Asia, a 4.7% increase in styrene prices in northeast Asia, a 4.5% increase in methanol prices in northeast Asia and a 5.2% fall in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices in northeast Asia.

The ICIS index values are subject to change given the fact that some contract prices for November have yet to settle, these include prices for styrene and polystyrene, polyethylene (PE) and PVC in the US.

The IPEX values represent the movement in monthly prices for 12 major commodity petrochemical and polyolefins: ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, styrene, BD, methanol, PX, PVC, PS, polyethylene (PE), PP, each weighted for regional capacity. 

By Nigel Davis

Picture source: PhotoAlto/REX/Shutterstock

Download global and regional ICIS IPEX data here
View the full IPEX methodology here