INTERACTIVE: Global IPEX down 1.26% in January on weaker US and Europe

Source: ICIS News

2019/02/06

LONDON (ICIS)--Falling petrochemical and polymer prices in the US and northwest Europe helped drive down the ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) for January.

Following a weaker end to 2018, the pricing environment persisted into the New Year.

Ethylene prices fell in the three regions – northwest Europe, northeast Asia and the US – month to month from September, although the average ethylene price in northeast Asia was higher in January.

Prices in northeast Asia, the more spot-driven market, eased higher as the Lunar New Year approached and on the back of stock building downstream.

The major downward price movements in January were posted for methanol and for benzene, the drop in the quarterly methanol price being a significant 18.2% from the fully settled fourth quarter price.

The price trend continues to be down with only a few product price increases for the month globally.

IPEX values are subject to change as some contract prices settle retrospectively and there have been changes to the regional IPEX values this month to reflect this in October, November and December 2018.

Contract prices for January have yet to be settled from polystyrene in Europe, styrene in the US and paraxylene in northeast Asia.

US polyethylene and US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices rolled over in January from December 2018.

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IPEX IPEX Value December 2018 to Janary 2019 change
Global 230.79 -1.26
US 228.88 -2.77
Northwest Europe  267.52 -2.88
Northeast Asia 217.08 0.40
 

Major price rises in January 2019

 
Commodity Region Month on month rise
Propylene NE Asia 2.35%
Polyethylene NE Asia 2.26%
Toluene NE Asia 1.29%
 

Major price falls in October

 
Commodity Region Month on month fall
Methanol NW Europe -17.95%
Benzene US Gulf -13.2%
Benzene  NW Europe -10.2%

Global and regional IPEX data are available here
The ICIS Petrochemical Index methodology is available here

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.