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Press release from PR Newswire

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

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Platts: Petrochemical Prices Climb 2% in December on Tight Supplies15:42 EST Wednesday, January 09, 2013LONDON, 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.PLATTS GLOBAL PETROCHEMICAL INDEX IN DOLLARS PER METRIC TON The daily price reflected as a monthly average Dec-'12Monthly % ChangeAnnual % changeDec-'11Nov-'12Oct-'12Sep-'12Aug-'12$1,3502.0%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: http://www.platts.com/newsfeature/2013/Petrochemicals/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 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 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/.CONTACTKathleen Tanzy212-904-2860Kathleen_tanzy@platts.comSOURCE PlattsFor further information: Elizabeth Catalano, +44-207-176-6024, elizabeth_catalano@platts.com