January price rebounds drive IPEX higher

Author: Nigel Davis

2020/02/07

LONDON (ICIS)--Chemical prices rebounded in January as supply and demand balances tightened in some areas and on higher crude values.

The IPEX data show the most sigificant price increases in northeast Asia where the regional index climbed 2.55% month on month.

Across the board, the regional and global indexes are well down on January 2019 levels, the most significant differential being for the US.

US butadiene contract for January had settled higher , hiowever, on the major TPC outage at Port Neches in Texas following the explosion and fire there in late November.

The NW Europe benzene contract for January had settled in late December, posting a rise for the second month in succession, on higher crude prices but in a subdued market.

IPEX IPEX Value Month on month Y-o-Y
Global 208.90 2.07% -9.39%
US 196.66 1.64% -13.86%
NW Europe 257.00 1.58% -3.93%
NE Asia 195.98 2.55% -9.65%

Major price increases in January

Commodity Region Month on month rise
Butadiene US 16.30%
Benzene NW Europe 10.29%
Ethylene NE Asia 9.95%
 

Major price falls in January

 
Commodity Region Month on month fall
Polypropylene US -3.92%
Polypropylene NE Asia -2.23%
Toluene NE Asia -0.18%

A number of commodity contract prices rolled over in January from December 2019, those for: Ethylene, propylene, methanol (quarterly contract) and PVC in NW Europe; and propylene in the US.

Still to settle for the month are contract prices for paraxylene in Europe; ethylene, paraxylene, styrene, polyethylene and polystyrene in the US; and paraxylene in NE Asia.

Regional and global IPEX values are subject to change retrospectively as monthly contracts settle.

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.