Skip Navigation LinksHome|News & Analysis|News Features|News Feature Detail


Platts Global Petrochemical Index

A News & Analysis Feature

Platts Global Petrochemical Index

A News & Analysis Feature

Global petrochemical prices fell 3% in September

LONDON, October 10, 2014 - Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market continued to fall in September, following the drop in upstream energy prices, 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 September PGPI was down $43, or 3%, from August to $1,384 per metric ton (/mt). On a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices edged down less than 1% from September 2013.

"There were two factors contributing to lower prices in the petrochemical markets this past month," said Jim Foster, Platts editorial director of petrochemical analytics.

"First, both crude oil and naphtha prices have been falling. This has reduced the cost of making petrochemical products. Second, the prices of petrochemical products have climbed too high for buyers, resulting in a fall in demand and slower sales."

The daily price reflected as a monthly average


Monthly % Change

Annual % change

September 2013













PGPI Average

The chart above shows the daily end-of-day Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI) price in red and also displays the 20-day PGPI moving average (MA) in blue.

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.


Prices of olefins - a group of hydrocarbon compounds which are the building blocks to many petrochemical products used to produce everyday goods - were slightly lower in September.

Both ethylene and propylene prices decreased by 1% month over month, mainly due to falling naphtha prices.

Polyethylene, a plastic manufactured from ethylene, saw prices decline 3% in September, while polypropylene prices were down 2% over the same period.


Prices of aromatics - a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals - fell sharply in September, due to reduced downstream demand. Market sources said prices had moved too high and impacted the profitability of downstream products. As a result, benzene prices fell 9% in September, the largest drop of all components in the PGPI.

Paraxylene posted the second-largest fall - dropping 7% in September to $1,207/mt. Toluene prices were down 4% in September to $1,080/mt.

The price decreases in global petrochemical markets occurred amid a mixed performance by global equity markets in September. The Nikkei 225 climbed 5% during the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell less than 1% and the London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) fell 3%.

To access a summary of the August 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.

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

Return to top

© 2014 Platts, McGraw Hill Financial. All rights reserved.