Spot polyethylene prices slid $0.01-$0.03/lb, while polypropylene unwound another $0.02/lb, as the spot market remained under pressure. Offers accumulated and prices weakened as buyers chose to watch the market fall from a distance, according to spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE). Contract buyers for both major commodity resins will see price decreases for June. While it has been known for several weeks that June PP contracts would drop $0.15/lb along with polymer-grade propylene (PGP), PE producers were still pushing for a reduced increase as of last week, before finally relenting.
Energy prices continued to fall with losses seen across the board. August crude oil futures traded below $90/bbl, but recovered somewhat to end the week at $91.16/bbl, finishing down $2.24/bbl. August natural gas shed another $0.11/mmBtu to settle at $4.25/mmBtu on Friday, as the crude oil: natural gas price ratio held steady at 21.4:1.
Ethylene's market was hit hard in very active trading. As ethylene production capacity improved with only minimal crackers currently offline. That eased short-term supply concerns, and ethylene prices for June delivery cascaded lower in a series of transactions, the most recent of which was $0.575/lb for a weekly loss of almost $0.08/lb. The premium for near-term delivery has essentially been eliminated with prices for the balance of 2011 seen at similar levels....