LONDON, January 9, 2013 - 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.
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
Dec. ‘12| Monthly % change| Annual % change| Dec. ‘11| Nov. ‘12| Oct. ‘12| Sep. ‘12| Aug. ‘12| $1,350| 2.0%| 16%| $1,161| $1,323| $1,351| $1,357| $1,262|
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 in blue.
“Benzene prices, which were up 7% from November, continued to push the global petrochemical index higher,” said Jim Foster, Platts senior editor of petrochemical analytics. “Benzene contracts hit record highs in recent months as demand continued to outpace supply. Global toluene prices also rose on the back of high benzene prices and continued strength in the xylene markets.”
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.