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Petchem prices on the rise again

By David Reed, UT EditorLondon-Petrochemical prices are on the rise again, after a three-month slide between April and July, according to ICIS-LOR, a London-based consultancy group. Several components of the basket which the firm monitors are vital precursors in the polyurethanes sector, including propylene, benzene and toluene.In August, the ICIS-LOR Petrochemical Index (designated IPEX) – which monitors prices for a basket of 12 important petrochemicals in the US, western European, and the northeast Asian markets – gained 2.45 percent, rising to 213.75 from July’s value, ICIS-LOR reported. This was due to a modest recovery in global polymer and olefins prices, and a slightly stronger Euro, the group said. The 5.12-point gain in the IPEX basket ended a three-month, 36.22-point slide that took place between April and July 2005, ICIS-LOR added.The IPEX product basket comprises: ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, paraxylene, styrene, methanol, butadiene, PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, and polystyrene. The index dates back to January 1993 and is weighted by regional nameplate capacity to generate the monthly index value.Published at the beginning of each month, ICIS-LOR claims that IPEX provides an independent indicator of average change in world petrochemical prices. “

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