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June Global Petrochemical Prices Climbed for First Time in Five Months


LONDON, July 14, 2014 - Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market climbed $26 per metric ton (/mt) in June, up 2% from the previous month and the first price increase in five months, 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 index value climbed to $1,387/mt, which is up 6% from the same period in 2013. The price increase during June mirrored gains in both the naphtha and crude oil markets. The largest price increase was in the global paraxylene market, where prices rose in $114 to $1,271/mt, up 10% from May.


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


June
2014


Monthly % Change


Annual % change


June
2013


May
2014


Apr.
2014


Mar.
2014


Feb.
2014


$1,387


2%


6%


$1,312


$1,360


$1,363


$1,371


$1,387



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.


Olefins


Prices of olefins – a group of hydrocarbon compounds which are the building blocks to many petrochemicals – were mixed in June. Ethylene prices in June averaged $1,320/mt, up 4% from May due to higher naphtha costs. Polyethylene, a polymer produced from ethylene, also saw higher prices for the month, up 1% in June to $1,661/mt.


Moving in the opposite direction of ethylene and naphtha, global propylene prices, slipped 4% to $1,332/mt. Propylene prices fell as stocks rose in the U.S. a record 3.8 million barrels to 60 million barrels for the reporting week ended July 4, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Polypropylene, the polymer produced from propylene, saw a price drop of 1% in June from May to $1,629/mt.


Aromatics


Prices of aromatics – a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals – were stronger in June. Paraxylene posted the largest gain, up 10% to $1,271/mt. This followed an average price in May of $1,157. Price increases were seen throughout aromatics. Toluene prices climbed 7% to $1,138/mt, while benzene prices rose 6% to $1,310/mt.


Global petrochemical prices moved in line with most global equity markets during June. The Nikkei 225 rose 3.5% during the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 1%. The London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) fell 2% during June.


To access a summary of the May performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit: http://www.platts.com/news-feature/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.


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