July IPEX rises on US, Europe industry revival but falls 25% year on year

Author: Jonathan Lopez

2020/08/04

LONDON (ICIS)--Global petrochemical prices rebounded in July as pandemic-induced lockdowns continued to ease in North America and Europe and industrial activity revived, pushing the monthly IPEX higher.

Despite continuing in July the upward trend registered in June, global petrochemicals prices were 25% lower year on year.

US benzene prices gained nearly 40% in July, with northwest Europe following suit, although in Asia they fell slightly.

Butadiene (BD) prices rose strongly in northeast Asia; methanol continued losing ground in the US and northwest Europe.

IPEX IPEX value Month on month Year on year
Global 171.17 7.04% -25.28%
US 162.66 8.48% -30.53%
Northwest Europe 219.36 9.57% -18.00%
Northeast Asia 156.30 4.92% -25.96%
Largest Cost Increases
Benzene US 39.39%
Benzene Northwest Europe 28.78%
Butadiene (BD) Northeast Asia 22.72%
Largest Cost Decreases
Methanol Northwest Europe -9.77%
Methanol US -6.40%
Benzene Northeast Asia -1.64%

IPEX values are subject to change retrospectively as contract prices are agreed.  Yet to be settled for July is the Asia Pacific paraxylene contract price; the US’ BD July contract was agreed at a rollover.

The ICIS petrochemical index tracks the movement of 12 major petrochemicals and polymers: ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, PX, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), styrene, polystyrene (PS), methanol and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with the regional indexes weighted by capacity.

Global and regional IPEX data are available here
The ICIS Petrochemical Index methodology is available here

Interactive content by Yashas Mudumbai