INTERACTIVE: Global IPEX up in May as Europe contract prices strengthen

Author: Nigel Davis


LONDON (ICIS)--The Global ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) was up slightly in May reflecting a range of price movements globally.

The index for Europe was higher as monthly contracts, settled largely at the end of April, were influenced by a higher crude oil price environment.

The northeast Asia index was lower as growth slowed and inventories built in the all important China market.

- Paraxylene (PX) prices sharply lower on significant new capacity in China and PET weakness. Asia Contract Price (ACP) still not settled

- Rising spot prices push US Gulf propylene May contract price higher

- Butadiene remains volatile. NE Asia prices down sharply

The global IPEX for May is down 14% year on year. The fall in the northeast Asia index is closer to 20%.

IPEX IPEX Value April to May change
Global 237.27 0.24
US 237.84 0.54
Northwest Europe  289.65 1.58
Northeast Asia 216.04 -0.63

Major price rises in May

Commodity Region Month on month rise
Propylene US Gulf Coast 12.7%
Polypropylene US Gulf Coast 7.1%
Butadiene Northeast Asia 6.3%

Major price falls in May

Commodity Region Month on month fall
Paraxylene Northwest Europe -9.1%
Paraxylene US Gulf Coast -8.4%
Toluene US Gulf Coast -6.8%

IPEX values are subject to change as monthly contract prices settle retrospectively. US ethylene and styrene monthly contract prices have not yet settled for May. The PX Asia Contract Price (ACP) has rolled over for the third consecutive month.

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.