The Platts Global Petrochemical Index, which tracks the prices of petrochemical commodities, has soared to a record of about $1,200 per metric ton, or up 150% from its December 2008 low. Strong Asian demand has boosted the index as U.S. chemical majors DuPont and Dow Chemical continue to expect strong gains. Petrochemical production in the U.S. is "coming back very sharply," with gains in capacity utilization, said Thomas K. Swift, chief economist at the American Chemistry Council.

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