Platts: Global Petrochemical Prices Rose Slightly in July, Up 12% From Year Ago

LONDON, Aug. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market rose slightly in July to $1,319 per metric ton (/mt), according to the just-released monthly Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI). The PGPI is a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals and is published by Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and a top source of benchmark price references.

The average PGPI price in July was up 0.5% from June, following a month-over-month price rise in May. However, on a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices were up 12% from July 2012, when the average price was $1,175/mt.

Petrochemicals are used to make plastic, rubber, nylon and other consumer products and are utilized in manufacturing, construction, pharmaceuticals, aviation, electronics and nearly every commercial industry.

PLATTS GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL INDEX IN DOLLARS PER METRIC TON

The daily price reflected as a monthly average

Jul-'13

Monthly % Change

Annual % change

Jul-'12

June-'13

May-'13

Apr-'13

Mar-'13

$1,319

0.5%

12%

$1,175

$1,312

$1,278

$1,309

$1,378

OLEFINS

Olefins – a group of hydrocarbon compounds which are the building blocks to many petrochemicals – moved higher in July, with ethylene posting the largest increase of any of the seven PGPI components.

"The July PGPI price advance was driven in large part by a 2% rise in ethylene prices, particularly in Europe, where naphtha is cracked to make ethylene," said Jim Foster, Platts senior petrochemicals analyst. He said naphtha prices were up 6% from June, according to the latest Platts monthly average.

However, the gains in ethylene were largely contained and did not prove a major price determinant downstream. For example, in the polyethylene market, prices advanced only fractionally from June, up only $5/mt to $1,545/mt.  

Propylene, the second olefin component in the PGPI, showed an unchanged price pattern for July, with the average price virtually flat at $1,287/mt. However, minimal price increases were seen in polypropylene, where prices moved only 1% from the June average of $1,519/mt to $1,539/mt in July.  

AROMATICS

Prices of aromatics – a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals – were mostly higher in July, albeit by small amounts.

The Platts Global Toluene Index advanced 1% in July to an average $1,104/mt from the June average of $1,094/mt. Paraxylene prices rose by a similar amount last month to $1,405/mt from the June average of $1,389/mt.  

Benzene, the final aromatic component of the PGPI, saw a price drop of 4% in July to $1,234/mt from the June average of $1,286/mt.

Petrochemical prices in July failed to keep pace with gains in key global equity markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 4% last month and the London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) increased 7%. The Nikkei 225 was locked in sideways trade from June through July.  

To access a summary of the July performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit this link: http://www.platts.com/newsfeature/2013/Petrochemicals/pgpi/index.

The PGPI reflects a compilation of the daily price assessments of physical spot market ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene as published by Platts and is weighted by the three regions of Asia, Europe and the United States. Used as a price reference, a gauge of sector activity, and a measure of comparison for determining the profitability of selling a barrel of crude oil  intact or refining it into products, the PGPI was first published by Platts in August 2007.

Published daily in a real-time news service Platts Petrochemical Alert and other Platts publications, the PGPI is anchored by Platts' robust and long-established price assessment methodology and the firm's 100-year history of energy price reporting. 

Platts petrochemicals experts are available for media interviews. A sample list of experts may be found at the Platts Media Center. For more information on petrochemicals, visit the Platts website at www.platts.com.

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coalelectricityoil, natural gasmetalsnuclear powerpetrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com.

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, and McGraw Hill Construction. The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

SOURCE Platts



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