Chemicals Pricing Data Subscription

How to Use Commodity Price Database

Intratec Commodity Price Database is the largest online database covering pricing data of commodities: subscribers can access pricing data of up to 218 commodities, across several countries worldwide. Our database has been successfully used in several ways over the years, such as:

  • To evaluate transaction prices in international markets.
  • To assess procurement planning performance.
  • To identify monthly/yearly price trends.
  • To doublecheck price references.
  • To conveniently view pricing data, in different currencies, units, on a quarterly or annual basis.
  • To develop internal commercial studies/investment analyses.

As we highly value transparency and our customers’ satisfaction are extremely important to us, we organized this document to describe in further detail the data presented, so subscribers can make the best use of it.

About the Price Data Presented

Commodity Price Database presents, primarily, monthly average prices for bulk quantities of commodities, as defined by official trade statistics issued by the respective countries. As such, those are volume-weighted averages of transaction prices effectively practiced in the markets, as reported by countries custom authorities, and not necessarily indicative of specific contract prices or spot transactions/bids (unless otherwise specified).

Put another way, the data presented relies on official trade statistics released by governments of the countries reported in our database. The prices presented concern mixed commercial grades of a commodity as grouped by the sources that release the data. They do not reflect the price of any specific grade, rather an average price of all grades traded in the period reported, under all types of transaction (contract and spot), weighted by the transaction volume. There is not any separation between contract or spot transactions either, unless otherwise noted.

Considering the above, while Intratec price data can be a useful guide in a number of situations, when used alone it may not capture specific and/or sharp price movements in periods of high price volatility. Therefore, unless in combination with other price indexes, we discourage using the monthly price data from Commodity Price Database as a reference of real-time prices of commodities, or as an index for structuring contracts between suppliers and processors, or between processors and their end customers.

For instance, a significant price increase/decrease of a specific grade, as illustrated in the following chart, may not be reflected in the price presented for the respective commodity as this price data includes many grades.

Grade Price x Intratec Price

In cases like this, the price increase/decrease of the specific grade may be attenuated by other grades for which prices did not increased/decreased as much.

Contract / Spot Prices X Intratec Price

A similar issue may happen related to the type of transaction, as price levels for contracts and spot business differ and are volatile in each period (see figure above). In periods of significant price volatility, sharp spot price increases may not be reflected in the average price presented for the respective commodity. In such periods, when a significant portion of the volume traded had prices ruled by contracts established before the price increase, sharp spot price increases tend to lead to smaller volumes traded in the spot market, so that such spot prices increase are not reflected in the average price presented for a given commodity.

Also, while Intratec monthly price data is based on information reported by governmental agencies and/or institutions related to foreign trade, it is worth noting that there is a delay until the final data is released by those agencies and/or institutions. In this context, one should bear in mind that the most recent price data presented by Intratec are actually preliminary estimates, based on statistical models, which will be recalculated/revised as consolidated data become available.

Finally, for further details about Intratec Commodity Price Database, check our methodology.