Polyethylene and polypropylene prices both added a penny last week, driven by already tight supplies along the petrochemical chain which were further restricted by Hurricane Isaac. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange noted that for the last week of August, spot offerings dwindled to very low levels due to the fact that most crude oil and natural gas platforms were shut in and several petrochemical complexes closed or ran at reduced output levels. That impaired production came despite the fact that Isaac passed through the Gulf without causing much reported damage to the local petrochemical industry, with most facilities back up and running. August PE contracts were up $0.03-$0.05/lb depending on producer, while PP contracts slid $0.015/lb, with price increases nominated for both materials for September.
Energy markets moved slightly higher last week, with October crude oil futures up $0.32/bbl to end the week at $96.47/bbl. October natural gas futures recovered $0.065/mmBtu to settle at $2.799/mmBtu on Friday. The crude oil : natural gas ratio contracted a bit to 34.5:1....