Global IPEX down 1.0% in August as US prices tumble

Author: Nigel Davis


LONDON (ICIS)--Sharply lower prices in the US for key petrochemicals such as methanol, toluene, benzene and butadiene helped drive the global ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) down in August.

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The index for the US was down 2.1% month on month.

Methanol prices were also sharply lower (-7.5% month on month) in northeast Asia.

Sharply higher ethylene and butadiene prices in northeast Asia helped balance out the generally global flat to negative petrochemical price trend.

The global IPEX for August was almost 20% lower than that for August 2018.

Index values are significantly lower in all regions led by northeast Asia  (-23.5% year on year in August).

The regional and global IPEX values can change retrospectively as monthly contract prices are agreed. Not yet settled for August or unchanged from July are US ethylene, styrene and polypropylene prices and paraxylene in northeast Asia.

IPEX IPEX Value July to August change
Global 226.8 -1.0%
US 229.2 -2.1%
Northwest Europe  266.8 -0.3%
Northeast Asia 209.6 -0.7%

Major price rises in August

Commodity Region Month on month rise
Ethylene Northeast Asia 9.7%
Butadiene Northeast Asia 7.6%
Benzene Northwest Europe 5.4%

Major price falls in August

Commodity Region Month on month fall
Methanol US -12.9%
Toluene US -10.1%
Methanol Northeast Asia -7.5%

Interactive content by Tom Brown

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.


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