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CHE 4310: Chemical Commodity Prices

Finding Chemical Pricing

The purpose of this guide is to assist you with finding chemical pricing for your CHE 4310 projects.

SciFinder-n , ICIS Chemical Business, and the USITC DataWeb (which provides U.S. merchandise trade and tariff data) are good resources to search to find chemical pricing.  More information on both of these resources, and search strategies, are found under the tabs for each resource in the left frame.  Additional resources are listed below. 

In general, pay close attention to the size of the unit being sold (e.g. kg vs. tons) and whether or not the quoted price includes shipping to the specified destination. 

Additional Resources (adapted from a handout created by David Bruce, CHE Dept. Chair)

1. Current pricing for many commodity chemicals can be found on the ChemAnalyst website

2. Historical, current and projected energy/fuel prices can be obtained from the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) website (this includes coal, natural gas, liquid fuels, and electricity).  Do a search for “Monthly Energy Review” to get current pricing or go to the tab labelled “Topics” at the top of the page and select “Analysis and Projections”.

3. Current energy and commodity prices for select chemicals/fuels can be obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME):

  1. Select the MARKETS tab at the top, then either click on a featured product, click "All Products" below the featured products to see a full list of products, or browse in your category of interest (e.g., energy, metals, agriculture),
  2. To see the specific $/unit information for a given material, click on the desired material (e.g., ethanol), then click on the “Contract Specifications” or SPECS button.  Common units are $/million BTUs for natural gas, $/gallon for ethanol, and $/barrel for oil.

4. Current agricultural product (sugar, meat, etc.) pricing can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.  Current pricing for sugars can be found on their Sugar and Sweeteners Yearbook Tables

5. Prices for minerals, metals and select industrial chemicals can be found at the USGS Mineral Commodity Statistics and Information website.

6. Chemical prices in India can be obtained from Zauba.  Note that the value (price) unit of INR = Indian Rupee (1 INR ≈ 0.012 U.S. dollars in Feb 2023).  The quantity unit of KGS equals kilograms.

7. Search or Made-in-China for current chemical pricing.  Pay close attention to the point of sale and whether or not the price includes transportation to the desired final destination.  Also, use prices for larger quantities of chemicals (i.e., don’t assume the unit price for 100 tons will be the same as that for a 1 kg bottle).

8. Current bulk chemical prices can be estimated by adjusting older chemical prices to current levels using a Producer Price Index (PPI). The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis lists a number of Producer Price Indices for Chemicals and Allied Products.                                           

Updated Price = Older Price x [(Cost Index at Newer Date) / (Cost Index at Older Date)]

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) lists a number of Producer Price Indices for Chemicals and Allied Products.

The conference paper below describes using the Producer Price Index to adjust older chemical prices. Hubbard, D. E. (2021, March), Efficacy of Using Producer Price Indexes for Bulk Chemical Prices in Student Design Projects Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas.