Market overview: The spot market remained active last week with numerous transactions concluded and prices generally under pressure. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that buyers and sellers were prevalent as double-digit price increase nominations stoked volatility and trading opportunities. Although $0.11/lb of polyethylene (PE) price increases are technically on the table for January, only $0.05/lb is realistically sought and even that now seems doubtful. January polypropylene (PP) contracts will however, settle on average $0.17/lb higher along with the same change in polymer grade propylene (PGP) monomer.
Energy markets moved sharply in opposite directions and rollover to the March futures contract has begun. March crude oil futures reversed the previous week's gains, falling $3.46/bbl to finish at $89.11/bbl, their lowest close in 5 weeks. March natural gas futures jumped $0.253/mmBtu to settle at $4.743/mmBtu on Friday-the highest close for a front month since July. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio contracted to less than 19:1 for the first time since September....