LONDON, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market climbed 6% to $1,425 per metric ton (/mt) in January, according to the just-released monthly average of the Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals. This follows a 2% increase in December.
On a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices were up 12% from the January 2012 average price of $1,270/mt, according to data published by Platts, a leading global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider and a top source of benchmark price references.
"The olefins markets provided support despite downturns in the aromatics markets," said Jim Foster, Platts senior editor of petrochemical analytics. Olefins and aromatics are two key petrochemical classes used in the manufacturing of a host textiles, plastics, rubber and products. Olefins include such chemicals as ethylene and propylene. Aromatics include such chemicals as benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers.
"In recent months solid price gains were seen in benzene, toluene and xylene, but tables turned in January, with prices of benzene and toluene falling 4% and 3% respectively. Still, the small price declines were more than offset by the 12% and 10% increases in propylene and ethylene prices," Foster explained.
The average propylene price was $1,340/mt in January, following a 2% decline in December to an average of $1,193/mt. The 12% rise in January was the largest price gain of the seven PGPI components.
Ethylene, another olefin component of the PGPI, averaged $1,382/mt in January, a rise from the December average of $1,257/mt.
Polyethylene and polypropylene – which are created by polymerizing ethylene and propylene – also posted twin gains in January, up 5%. Low-density polyethylene rose to $1,550/mt from the December level of $1,476/m. The global polypropylene price climbed to $1,538/mt in January from $1,470/mt in December.
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