LONDON (ICIS)--A 3.5% higher global IPEX for August underscores the continued petrochemicals recovery from the depths of the coronavirus-driven slump earlier in the year.
The increased US and northwest Europe price indexes illustrate the recovery taking hold in these regions while the more muted increase in the northeast Asia ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) reflects some pressure on prices as supply and demand balanced out through July and August.
Butadiene volatility persists, with August prices much higher in all three regions, the markets having lost considerable value earlier in the year.
Increased supply and downstream outages have weighed on NE Asia ethylene prices.
Petrochemical prices globally remain well down on last year. The Global IPEX was 21% below the August 2019 level, with the US value down most significantly for the month year on year.
|IPEX Value||July to August change|
Major price rises in August
|Commodity||Region||Month on month rise|
Major price falls in August
|Commodity||Region||Month on month fall|
IPEX values are subject to change retrospectively as monthly contract prices are settled. Yet to settle for August 2020 are NWE paraxylene, US propylene, US paraxylene, US polypropylene and NEA paraxylene.
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.