Platts announces global petrochemical prices rose 6% in January on tight olefins supplies
Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013

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.

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals 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 carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, and shipping markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), 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.

SOURCE Platts

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