Global IPEX falls 2% in October on Asian market woes

Author: Tom Brown

2019/11/06

LONDON (ICIS)--Sharp falls in producer pricing in Asia amid the ongoing global industrial downturn and the cooling effect of the US-China trade war drove down the global ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) in October.

- Substantial falls for the northeast Asia IPEX more than offset a modest uptick in Europe values and a smaller decline in the US.

- Inventory effects and weak end-market demand continue to weigh on producers globally.

- Sharpest falls seen for methanol in northwest Europe styrene in northeast Asia

- IPEX values down between 17% and 23% across all regions and globally year on year.

IPEX IPEX Value September to October change
Global 221.2 -2.0%
US 230.6 -0.3%
Northwest Europe  263.1 0.1%
Northeast Asia 199.6 -4.1%

Major price rises in October

Commodity Region Month on month rise
Paraxylene US 2.4%
Polyethylene Northeast Asia 2.1%
Benzene US 2.0%

Majjor price falls in October

Commodity Region Month on month fall
Methanol Northwest Europe -11.1%
Styrene Northeast Asia -8.2%
Polypropylene US -3.4%

The regional and global IPEX values can change retrospectively as monthly contract prices are agreed.

Not yet settled for October from September are US polyethylene (PE), styrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as well as northeast Asia paraxylene (PX).

US and northwest Europe butadiene (BD) prices are unchanged month on 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, BD, benzene, toluene, PX, PE, polypropylene (PP), styrene, polystyrene (PS), methanol and PVC with the regional indexes weighted by capacity.

(Clarification: recasts list of products that have yet to settle)