December IPEX up 6.5% on rising prices in Europe and the US

Author: Miguel Rodriguez Fernandez


LONDON (ICIS)--The ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) continued to climb in December, increasing by 6.54% for the month, tracking price increases for most of the major petrochemical and plastics commodities.

The table here shows the movement in the global and regional IPEX values as petrochemicals and plastics demand generally improved and markets tightened from pandemic-induced lows.

The northwest Europe index rose sharply as butadiene (BD), styrene, toluene and benzene prices climbed significantly higher.

All the petrochemical and plastics prices used to calculate the index in the region were higher in December, apart from methanol, which remained unchanged.

US Gulf prices  also increased substantially, driven up by higher BD, styrene, propylene and polypropylene (PP) pricing.

US December ethylene contracts for the majority of market participants settled on 4 January at an increase of 2.25 cents/lb ($50/tonne) which is a gain of 7.8% on November.

Contract prices are at their highest levels since October 2018 on the back of healthy demand into downstream and overseas markets.

The increase will be fully confirmed in the IPEX at a later date.

The northeast Asia index went up more softly than in Europe and the US with all the commodities prices rising, with the exception of styrene and butadiene.

The monthly IPEX values climbed by 12% year on year.

The monthly IPEXs provide a snapshot view of the petrochemicals and plastics markets in the three major producing and consuming regions as well as globally.

The IPEX table and charts below are 'live' and update on a regular basis. The latest price increases are shown and values of the regional and global IPEXs.

Price changes for the commodities used to create the IPEX can be captured by users on the price table allowing comparisons to be made on a flexible monthly basis.

Likewise, IPEX values can be captured by clicking into the chart are and downloading current and historical data.

The ICIS petrochemical index tracks the movement of prices for the 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. The IPEX values are related to a January 2000 base of 100. IPEX values are subject to change retrospectively as monthly contract prices are settled.

For more information on the IPEX methodology, click on this link. If you want to receive regular data updates of the IPEX, click here