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Platts Global Petrochemical Index

A News & Analysis Feature

Platts Global Petrochemical Index

A News & Analysis Feature

Global petrochemical prices fell 9% in November

Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market extended its fall by 9% in November, as energy and naphtha prices continued to slide.

Petrochemical prices, expressed as a monthly average, fell $199 from October to $1,205 per metric ton (/mt) in November, 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.

On a year-over-year basis, petrochemical prices were down 11% compared with the same month last year.

The daily price reflected as a monthly average


Monthly % Change

Annual % change














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.

"As long as crude oil and naphtha prices are falling, I would expect the same from petrochemicals," said Jim Foster, director of petrochemical analysis at Platts.

"Naphtha is setting the marginal price for olefins, and will - in turn - influence the price of plastics."

Monthly average Dated Brent prices fell 9% and naphtha prices were down 11% in November from October.

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 - posted double-digit falls in November.

Ethylene prices decreased 11% to $1,177/mt and propylene prices were down 12% to $1,156/mt.

Polyethylene and polypropylene, plastics manufactured from ethylene and propylene respectively, saw prices declining 5% in November.

Global polyethylene fell to $1,525/mt, while polypropylene fell to $1,533/mt.


Prices of aromatics - a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals - also fell sharply in November.

Benzene and toluene posted the largest drops of any component in the PGPI, with prices shedding 14% in November, to $1,015/mt and $849/mt, respectively.

The paraxylene price slid 9% to $965/mt.

The price decreases in global petrochemical markets occurred despite climbing global equity markets in November.

The London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) and Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 3% during the month, while the Nikkei 225 jumped 6%.

To access a summary of the November 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

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