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Global Petrochemical Prices Rose 1% in January on Higher Oil Prices: Platts

LONDON, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market increased in January to $1,424 per metric ton (/mt), up 1% from December, 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 higher petrochemicals prices were tied in large part to the run-up in raw input prices – particularly in the olefins markets. Tight supplies in the benzene market also pushed prices higher.  

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

Jan-14

Monthly
%
Change

Annual
%
change

Jan-'13

Dec-'13

Nov-'13

Oct-'13

Sep-'13

$1,424

1%

0%

$1,425

$1,406

$1,349

$1,352

$1,388

OLEFINS
Prices of olefins – a group of hydrocarbon compounds which are the building blocks to many petrochemicals – were higher in January, supported by stronger natural gas liquids prices. Olefins can be produced using natural gas liquids, such as ethane and propane. Cold weather in the United States in January pushed propane prices higher, leading to stronger propylene prices. Propylene was up 2% in January to $1,422/mt.

Global ethylene prices averaged $1,351/mt in January, up from the December average of $1,313/mt. The stronger ethylene prices, however, did not flow downstream; polyethylene prices were assessed by Platts at less than 1% lower at $1,700/mt.

AROMATICS
Prices of aromatics – a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals – were mostly lower in January, with toluene and paraxylene both posting small loses. Benzene posted the largest gains of any chemical in the Platts Global Petrochemical Index.

Tight supplies globally pushed the average monthly benzene price for January to $1,424/mt, up 4% from the December average of $1,367/mt. The January increase follows a 10% increase in December.

The Platts Global Toluene Index fell 2% in January to $1,109/mt, down from $1,133/mt in December.

The Platts Global Paraxylene Index fell 5% in January to $1,285/mt. This compared to a December average of $1,353/mt.

Petrochemical prices in January posted small gains despite falling global equity markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the Nikkei 225 were down 5% and 8%, respectively. The London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) was down 4% for the month.   

To access a summary of the January performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit this link: http://www.platts.com/newsfeature/2014/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 (NYSE: MHFI), a financial intelligence company, is a leader in credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. 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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