The spot resin markets were active and prices steady to a penny lower last week, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE). It is once again late in the month and PE contracts remain unsettled, as producers have not backed away from their second attempt at a $0.06/lb price increase, citing high ethylene costs. Resin supply is currently ample and demand is a bit soft. February polypropylene (PP) contracts jumped $0.165/lb along with polymer grade propylene (PGP) and are poised to move higher again in March, although competitive resin offers from well-stocked domestic resellers and Houston exporters have "kept a lid on the spot resin market", according to TPE CEO Michael Greenberg.
Energy markets resumed their long-term trends, with crude oil and natural gas futures moving in opposite directions. April crude oil futures accelerated recent gains adding another $6.17/bbl to finish at $109.77/bbl, a 9-month high. Natural gas futures have been unable to hold on to their occasional gains, slipping back $0.129/mmBtu to settle at $2.695/mmBtu on Friday. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio blew out to a near-record level of 40.7:1....