Market overview: Spot resin activity picked last week, as prices moved slightly lower and offered volumes increased as some suppliers sought to sell additional material into quarter-end. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) said that overall buying interest was somewhat muted, as processors still seem content with their inventory levels and are looking to limit purchases that include the September price increases that average $0.05/lb for polyethylene and polypropylene. TPE CEO Michael Greenberg said that although negotiations are not yet complete, it now seems that about half of the proposed September increases could be implemented.
Energy markets again traded in opposite directions, with November contracts in the process of rolling into the front-monthposition. Crude oil futures dropped $2.45/bbl to end the week at $76.45/bbl, about $4/bbl off the week's high, while natural gas futures gained $0.078/mmBtu to settle at $4.203/mmBtu last Friday. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio shrunk to 17.8:1, which is still much wider than the 6:1 ratio considered parity. This relationship continues to provide a vast cost advantage to North American ethylene and PE producers over their international counterparts, enabling producers to develop a large base of direct PE exports....