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Platts announces petrochemical prices climb 2% in December on tight supplies

Thursday, Jan 10, 2013

LONDON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market climbed 2% to $1,350 per metric ton (/mt) in December, 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 drop of 2% in November.

But on a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices were up 16% from the December 2011 average price of $1,161/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 7% increase in benzene, a petrochemical used in packaging, various plastics, nylon and other textiles, was the largest of the seven components that make up the PGPI. The December average price of benzene was $1,495/mt, up from a November average of $1,398/mt.

Toluene, which can be converted into benzene and xylenes, rose 4% to $1,332/mt in December, up from $1,274/mt in November. The global paraxylene index also was up 4% in December, to $1,565/mt, up from $1,511/mt in November.

Polymer prices too posted gains in December despite mixed results in the olefins markets. The Platts Global Polypropylene Index edged up 2% last month to $1,470/mt, despite a 2% decline in the Platts Global Propylene Index during the same period. Propylene is the olefin raw material input for the production of polypropylene.

The Platts Global Low-Density Polyethylene Index increased 4% in December to $1,476/mt, up from $1,434/mt in November. Its olefin raw input – ethylene – was up less than half a percent during the same period to $1,256/mt.

Petrochemical prices largely followed the direction of global equity markets during December. The Nikkei 225 climbed 10% last month and both the London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were up less than one percent.

To access a summary of the December performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit this link:

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.


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