November 17, 2015 - 4:49 PM EST
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Platts: Global Petrochemical Prices Leveled Off in October

But Month-End Prices Were Stronger versus September; First Such Strength Since May 2015

HOUSTON, Nov. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market in October were virtually flat based on a monthly average, but edged slightly when valued on a month-end to month-end basis from September. This is the first time the markets have shown intermonth gains since May of this year, according to the just-released monthly Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI). Petrochemical prices, expressed as a monthly average were $785 per metric ton (/mt) in October, down just $1/mt from September.

The PGPI is a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals and is published by Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a top source of benchmark price references. 

"Benzene prices climbed 4% in October," said Jim Foster, head of analysis for petrochemicals and agriculture at Platts. "Exports of benzene out of Korea were down 30% in October, which pinched supplies globally, pushing up price as did the strengthening of upstream prices of crude oil and naphtha."

Crude oil prices were up 2% in October, while naphtha prices climbed 3%.  

The daily price reflected as a monthly average

Oct  2015

Monthly % Change

Annual % Change

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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.


As a group, olefins prices were mixed last month, with ethylene posting small gains and propylene prices falling. Propylene, which can be made at both the refinery and the cracker, slipped 5% to $533 per metric ton (/mt) in October, down $26 from September. Ethylene, which is primarily produced at crackers, climbed 1% to $767/mt in October, up $6/mt from September.

Polyethylene and polypropylene, plastics manufactured from ethylene and propylene respectively, were also mixed in October as each derivative closely followed its feedstock price.  Global polyethylene prices rose 1% to $1,252/mt, while polypropylene prices fell 3% to $1,114/mt.


Prices of aromatics – a group of scented hydrocarbons with benzene rings used to make a variety of petrochemicals – were stronger across the board last month.  Benzene posted the largest gain of any component in the PGPI, climbing 4% to $612/mt, up from $586/mt in September. Toluene prices gained 2% in October to $621/mt, up $12 from September. Paraxylene, the final aromatic included in the PGPI, was up 1% in October to $773/mt, up $8 from September.

Petrochemical prices moved in line with global equity markets in October. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 8%. The London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) gained 5% and the NIKKEI 225 advanced 10%.

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

Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, [email protected]

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets. Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency. Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets. A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with more than 1,000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ and SNL, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 20,000 employees in 31 countries. Additional information is available at


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Source: PR Newswire (November 17, 2015 - 4:49 PM EST)

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