INTERACTIVE: Global IPEX higher as Asia prices rise, led by ethylene spike

Source: ICIS News


LONDON (ICIS)--Rising prices in Northeast Asia, led by a spike in ethylene, helped push the global IPEX higher in February.

The steep increase in ethylene prices in northeast Asia in February was driven by lower export availability out of Europe, in turn due to a cracker outage in Italy. Supply from Europe has proved to be ample, however, and spot ethylene prices in northeast Asia have begun to weaken.

Prices for some of the major polymers in the two other major petrochemical and polymer producing and consuming regions were close to or at rollover in the month. The February ethylene contract price in northwest Europe was also static month to month. Aromatics prices were higher in all regions.

Propylene and polypropylene (PP) inventories in the US are at multi-year highs keeping supply plentiful and maintaining downward pressure on prices.

- Asia prices higher in February
- Spike in ethylene Asia on concerns about Europe export availability
- C3 and polymer prices lower in US

IPEX IPEX Value January 2019 to February 2019 change (%)
Global 234.01 1.50
US 229.14 0.37
Northwest Europe  267.78 0.10
Northeast Asia 223.01 2.81

Major price rises in February

Commodity Region Month on month rise (%)
Ethylene Northeast Asia 23.38
Toluene Northwest Europe 11.48
Paraxylene US Gulf Coast 7.00

Major price falls in October

Commodity Region Month on month fall (%)
Butadiene Northeast Asia -5.42
Propylene US Gulf Coast -3.75
Polypropylene US Gulf Coast -3.28

Monthly IPEX values are subject to change as contract prices settle. The February styrene contract price in the US has yet to be agreed.

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.