Market overview: The spot resin markets experienced heightened trading activity in the last full week of January. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) said that material availability was relatively good last week with mixed prices. Polyethylene (PE) producers have yet to fully back down from their January price-increase initiatives of $0.05-$0.11/lb, even though spot PE levels were relatively flat in January. Polypropylene (PP) prices however, rocketed higher, fueled by a $0.17/lb increase in January polymer grade propylene (PGP) contracts.
Energy markets saw active trading, with March crude-oil futures lower for most of the week, before spiking on Friday on news of political unrest in Egypt. They finished with a modest gain of $0.23/bbl for the week, settling at $89.34/bbl on Friday. March natural gas futures moved sharply lower, dropping $0.42/mmBtu, down almost 10%, to end the week at $4.323/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio expanded back out to 20.6:1....