Market overview: Buyer inquiries were plentiful and sellers were prevalent in the spot market's first full week of the new year, with a surprisingly good volume of offers for polyethylene (PE), in particular. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), said PE prices were mixed depending on the grade, while the polypropylene (PP) market continued its rapid rise unabated. TPE CEO Michael Greenberg noted that there are double-digit price increases nominated for both resins, adding that monomer costs will ultimately help dictate what happens.
Energy markets: U.S. energy markets moved in opposite directions last week, bringing the crude oil : natural gas price ratio back down to a shade under 20:1. February crude oil futures moved lower, dropping $3.35/bbl to end the week at $88.03/bbl. February natural gas futures rallied to start the year, rising $0.30/mmBtu, but eventually gave back most of the gains by the end the week and finished at $4.422/mmBtu on Friday for a net increase of less than $0.02.