Prices rose as a light-to-steady flow of spot material was offered last week, according to plastics spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE). Resin market activity was about average, according to TPE, and traders with old inventory on hand began asking more for their material, as buyers started coming to grips with the new reality of higher prices, after months of steady to lower markets. Producers have been invoicing January polyethylene (PE) contract sales up $0.06/lb, looking to build on the successful December implementation of their $0.05/lb increase. Spot PE railcars are generally available up the full $0.06/lb and some spot deals are happening somewhere in between. January polypropylene (PP) contracts have rolled steady, but the spot market continues to make gains amid tight supplies and rising monomer costs.
Energy markets were lower and front month contracts began to roll. March crude oil futures spent most of the week above $100/bbl, but fell on Friday to end the week at $98.33/bbl, for a net loss of $0.55/bbl. March natural gas futures continued to erode, erasing another $0.321/mmBtu, about 12%, to end the week at $2.392/mmBtu-a price not seen in a decade noted TPE. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio soared to a new record level above 41:1, nearly seven times the 6:1 ratio that is generally considered parity....