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Chemical Engineering

Bulk Chemical Prices

Finding prices for bulk chemicals has always been a challenge. Prices for bulk chemicals (e.g., 1 metric ton) are significantly different from finding laboratory chemical prices (i.e., one cannot just multiply 1 kg price found in a catalog by 1,000 and obtain a realistic price for a metric ton). In many cases, you may not be able to find a bulk chemical price for the chemical you want. With that said, there are a few places to search for bulk chemical pricing.

Adjusting Older Chemical Prices Using a PPI

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)]

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.