Market overview: The spot resin markets were active, resulting in a very good trading week with polyethylene up and polypropylene down. Plastics spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that while supplies were somewhat restricted, a high percentage of deals closed. Spot polyethylene (PE) prices rallied along with monomer, as producers re-initiated their efforts to secure the $0.05/lb increase that has been floated since December. Although there is a $0.03/lb increase nominated for February PP contracts, spot PP prices shed another penny amid weak demand.
Energy markets were volatile and ended the week lower. March Crude Oil futures jumped early, reaching above $92/bbl, but gave back the week's gains and then some on Friday, ultimately settling at $89.03/bbl, for a net loss of $0.31/bbl. March natural gas futures spent most of the week in higher territory, but also gave back gains and ended $0.011/mmBtu lower to close the week at $4.31/mmBtu, almost $0.50/mmBtu below the previous week's high. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio was virtually unchanged at a wide 20.6:1....