Spot resin trading activity jumped last week as availability improved and prices slipped , partially sliding in response to weakening international markets. After two months of declines, spot polymer markets started August on an uptick and it appeared that resin producers would be able to implement contract price increases. However, spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that sharply lower energy markets and worldwide economic uncertainty have effectively stifled those increases. "It now seems that contract prices for both PE and PP will remain flat for the month and producers will give them another shot in September," Michael Greenberg, TPE CEO said.
Energy markets were weaker, as October rolled to the front month futures contract. Crude oil prices started out higher but gave back the gains and then some, with the October contract ending the week at $82.41/bbl, for a loss of $3.28/bbl. Natural gas prices resumed their downtrend, erasing the previous week's gain. The October contract settled at $3.941/mmBtu, down $0.13/mmBtu, leaving the crude oil : natural gas price ratio just below 21:1....