Spot resin prices were mostly steady to slightly weaker as the market approached month-end. Spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that there was a good flow of spot material as several of offers were simply refreshed with resellers looking to unload uncommitted inventory amid waning demand. October polyethylene (PE) contracts have yet to fully settle. Most producers are still seeking a $0.05/lb increase, with one asking for $0.03/lb and yet another conceding to postpone the increase and try again in November. Polypropylene (PP) contracts settled up $0.015/lb earlier in the month along with polymer grade propylene (PGP). TPE CEO Michael Greenberg said that incremental exports are sluggish and currently not providing a viable outlet for high-volume spot sales. Domestically, market participants are already positioning their supplies with year-end in mind.
Energy markets moved markedly lower in active trading. December crude oil futures dropped $4.16/bbl to end the week at $86.28/bbl, the lowest level since early July. The market has fallen 15% since reaching above $100/bbl in mid-September. The December natural gas futures contract rolled to the front month and made 10-month highs early in the week, nearing $4/mmBtu, but then retreated to settle at $3.761/mmBtu for a net loss of $0.186/mmBtu. The crude oil: natural gas ratio contracted to less than 23:1, the tightest in just over a year....