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Platts: July Petrochemical Prices Rose 6% on Higher Oil and Naphtha Prices
LONDON, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market rose six percent to $1,175 per metric ton (/mt) in July, according to the just-released monthly average of the Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI), a benchmark basket of seven widely used petrochemicals. This is up from the June average of $1,104/mt, which marked a 14% drop from the prior month.

Despite the July increase, the first monthly price rise since March, petrochemicals prices were still trading well below year-ago levels, down 13% from July 2011.

Petrochemicals are used to make plastic, rubber, nylon and other materials for consumer products, packaging, 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

Global petrochemical prices followed energy prices higher. Brent crude oil prices climbed 12% in July again breaching $100 per barrel (/b), after falling below $90/b in June. Naphtha prices also were higher in July, with the Platts global naphtha index up 13% to $572/mt.

"The double-digit increases in crude oil and naphtha prices provided upward pressure on last month's petrochemical prices, but there were also some areas where short supply played a role," said Jim Foster, Platts senior editor of petrochemical analytics. "For example, as Platts reported, several traders had short positions in the global benzene market, which had a greater impact on prices than crude values."

All seven components of the PGPI rose in July. Ethylene had the largest gain, climbing 13% to $1,069/mt. Benzene had the second largest gain, climbing 11% to $1,289/mt. The smallest increase came in propylene, where prices edged up 1% to $1,061/mt.

As PGPI components gained price ground, equity market performance was mixed during the month. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and London Stock Exchange Index (FTSE) posted modest gains of 1% and 2%, respectively. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 fell 3%.

To access a summary of the July performance of each of the seven key petrochemicals included in the PGPI, visit this link: http://www.platts.com/newsfeature/2012/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 Platts Petrochemical Alert, a real-time news service, 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, consult Platts Media Center. For more information on petrochemicals, visit the Platts website at www.platts.com.

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 http://www.platts.com.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales 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 http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

SOURCE Platts


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