TPE resin prices, August 8-12: PE and PP down $0.01-$0.02/lb; producer inventories reach multiyear highs


Another week of extreme volatility in the stock, energy, and commodity markets sent many resin buyers to the sidelines to await solid direction, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE). Spot polyethylene (PE) prices eased $0.01-$0.02/lb, giving back most of the premium previously built up in expectation of the proposed August price increase of $0.05/lb that producers continue to pursue. Spot polypropylene prices shed $0.01/lb as August polymer-grade propylene (PGP) contracts initially settled flat. If confirmed industry-wide, polypropylene contracts would also rollover in August.

Energy markets had a wild ride with mixed results, as crude oil prices dropped below $76/bbl before snapping back to settle at $85.38/bbl, which was still down $1.50/bbl for the week. After several weeks of steadily lower prices, September natural gas futures bounced $0.119/mmBtu to finish at $4.06/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio contracted further to 21:1.

Ethylene spot prices moved lower in high-volume trading, as several previously downed crackers were back online, relieving some short-term supply constraints. Material for August delivery traded down as much as $0.03/lb in a series of transactions throughout the week. The most recent of which was at $0.615/lb, for a weekly loss of $0.025/lb. Ethylene for September was also active, trading a penny below August pricing. July's net transaction price was steady at $0.5675/lb, and as yet, there is no indication for August NTP....
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