The spot resin markets were slow after the long July 4 weekend and prime prices firmed following weeks of drops. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), reported that fresh generic prime polyethylene railcar offers were scarce until the end of the week and prices initially reflected the re-attempted $0.05/lb increase, but buyers resisted. Polypropylene contracts are expected to fall again in July based on lower monomer costs, with a $0.02/lb polymer grade propylene (PGP) decrease initially nominated, but market participants feeling the decrease should be larger. Widespec prices for both PE and PP remain soft and availability is good, as some offers come in a bit lower than late June levels.
Energy prices were mixed for the first trading week of July, as front month August crude oil futures posted another gain, rising $1.26/bbl to end the week at $96.20/bbl, while natural gas futures dropped, giving back the previous week's gain and a little more. The August futures contract dropped $0.106/mmBtu for the week to settle at $4.205/mmBtu on Friday. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio expanded again, and is now out to almost 23:1....