Platts: Petrochemical Prices Climb 2% in December on Tight Supplies

     Platts: Petrochemical Prices Climb 2% in December on Tight Supplies

PR Newswire

LONDON, Jan. 9, 2013

LONDON, Jan. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --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.

The daily price reflected as a monthly average
        Monthly Annual

Dec-'12 %       %      Dec-'11 Nov-'12 Oct-'12 Sep-'12 Aug-'12

        Change  change
$1,350  2.0%    16%    $1,161  $1,323  $1,351  $1,357  $1,262

"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.

Toluene, which can be converted into benzene and xylenes, rose 4% to $1,332/mt
in December, up from $1,274/mt in November. The global paraxylene index also
was up 4% in December, to $1,565/mt, up from $1,511/mt in November.

Polymer prices too posted gains in December despite mixed results in the
olefins markets. The Platts Global Polypropylene Index edged up 2% last month
to $1,470/mt, despite a 2% decline in the Platts Global Propylene Index during
the same period. Propylene is the olefin raw material input for the production
of polypropylene.

The Platts Global Low-Density Polyethylene Index increased 4% in December to
$1,476/mt, up from $1,434/mt in November. Its olefin raw input – ethylene –
was up less than half a percent during the same period to $1,256/mt.

Petrochemical prices largely followed the direction of global equity markets
during December. The Nikkei 225 climbed 10% last month and both the London
Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) were
up less than one percent. 

To access a summary of the December 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

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

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy,
petrochemicals and metals 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 carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear
power, petrochemical, and shipping markets. A division of The McGraw-Hill
Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately
900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is
available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011,
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of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees
across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is
available at

Kathleen Tanzy


Contact: Elizabeth Catalano, +44-207-176-6024,
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