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Global petrochemical prices fell to 6-year low in September

Staff writer |
Prices in the $3-trillion-plus global petrochemicals market in September fell to lows not seen since May 2009 as values across the energy complex remained soft.

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This is according to the monthly Platts Global Petrochemical Index (PGPI). Petrochemical prices, expressed as a monthly average, fell $102 per metric ton (/mt) From August to $786/mt in September. This is the second straight month where the average monthly price has fallen more than $100.

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.On average, crude oil prices were up 79 cents per barrel (/b) or 2% in September from August. Naphtha prices were also up 2% or 5 cents per gallon (/gal).

Prices of olefins, a group of hydrocarbon compounds which are the building blocks to many petrochemical products used to produce everyday goods, tend to track naphtha prices since naphtha is the most widely used feedstock in petrochemical cracker processes worldwide.

This past month, however, olefins prices tumbled as much as 24%, which is on par with the degree of the price decline in naphtha during the past two months.

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.

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