Resin markets endured a "tug-of-war" last week, with bullish momentum and price increase initiatives pitted against plunging world-wide markets for stocks, commodities, and energies. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange, did note, that in spite of what it called "upstream mayhem," downstream products, including monomers and resins, have not yet had a negative reaction. TPE did state that the market's sentiment has turned more cautious given overall uncertainty with the economy. Fresh offers for railcars of prime polyethylene and polypropylene were limited, and asking prices were lifted higher to, in part, reflect August price increase initiatives. These include $0.05/lb for polyethylene, while polypropylene is essentially figured to move in line with the settlement of polymer grade propylene (PGP) monomer.
Energy prices dropped sharply again amidst broad economic and credit concerns, as September crude oil futures finished the week at $86.88/bbl, about $4/bbl above Friday's low but still down nearly $9/bbl for the week. September natural gas futures continued to erode, settling below $4/mmBtu for the first time since March, as the week ended at $3.941/mmBtu for a loss of $0.204/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio contracted a bit to 22:1, which is still extremely wide on a historic basis, considering that parity is 6:1....