Petrochemical Industry Falling Prices For Petrochemicals

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Recent uncertainties in the global economy and lower demand for consumer goods impact the petrochemical industry: During November 2011, prices gave in by more than nine percent.

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PLATTS GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL INDEX IN U.S. DOLLARS PER METRIC TON (Source: Platts)
PLATTS GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL INDEX IN U.S. DOLLARS PER METRIC TON (Source: Platts)

Petrochemical prices gave in during November, as recent market studies confirm. An average of Platts now points out a drop of over three percent during the past month. The company's Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals, asses the average price per metric ton for November with US $ 1,162 (compared to an average $ 1,200 per ton in October). According to recent analysis, this developments caused by a slowdown in downstream demand for petrochemicals. On annual basis, the November PGPI was down by 2.7% from the same period in 2010, Platts said.

Now the industry eyes carefully for the general consumer market, especially during the holidays season, as well as global stock markets (especially since many popular items of this year’s holiday shopping season – flat screen TVs, gaming systems, computers, clothes and children’s toys -- are made from petrochemical products). Petrochemical products, mostly used as raw materials for other industries are heavily dependent on the economic situation, therefore the recent uncertainties are immediately mirrored on the market.

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According to Platts, six of the seven petrochemical components assessed by the PGPI were lower in November, based on the monthly averages just released. Bucking the trend was toluene, which posted a small one percent gain due to strong demand on Asian markets early in November. The largest drop in product value was witnessed for Paraxylene, which gave in more than ten percent due to weak demand from polyester makers.

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