Tighter markets in US and Asia and higher crude push September IPEX higher

07 October 2016 16:10 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--Market tightness and the higher oil price are buoying chemicals ICIS Petrochemical Index (IPEX) data showed on Friday.

The global IPEX for September climbed 3.2% from August. The index now is up 6.0% from September last year. The supply tightness continued to work its way through markets in the US and northeast Asia as it had done in August.

Prices for the IPEX basket of petrochemicals and polymers rose sharply in northeast Asia and the US as planned and unplanned outages for some products in the IPEX basket* drove prices higher. The polyethylene price in the US, for instance, was considerably higher last month. The butadiene price in Asia climbed on tighter availability.

Global IPEX September 2016

The northwest Europe IPEX by contrast rose only marginally in September from August – up 0.3%. It was down 5.0% from September 2015. Europe’s cracker fleet is running harder than last year when a number of outages tightened supply.

In northeast Asia in September this year a much higher percentage of crackers were offline on a year on year basis. There was a similar picture in the US.

Olefins and polyolefins prices rose sharply in the US in September and were higher in northeast Asia.

Brent crude price

The regional IPEXs are calculated based on price movements for a basket of 12 petrochemicals and plastics*. The regional and global IPEX monthly values can be subject to change as monthly contract prices are agreed in the regions. For September 2016 the only regional IPEX contract prices not to settle were US styrene and styrene in northeast Asia.

*The 12 petrochemicals in the IPEX basket at ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene, styrene, polystyrene (PS), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene, methanol and PVC.

Download global and regional ICIS IPEX data here
View the full IPEX methodology

By Nigel Davis