Spot polyethylene (PE) eased a bit last week from the $0.04/lb gains it ran up in early April, while polypropylene (PP) jumped another $0.02/lb, lifting monthly increase to $0.08/lb. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE) noted that spot PE is still up about $0.03/lb for the month, with "substantial" price increases planned for April contracts. PE producers are seeking to add $0.06/lb, while PP producers target an increase that will mirror gains in the April polymer-grade propylene (PGP) contract.
Energy markets: U.S. energy prices reversed recent trends with oil going weaker and natural gas firming up. May crude oil futures dropped from 32-month highs and shed $3.13/bbl to settle at $109.66/bbl on Friday. May natural gas futures added $0.163/mmBtu, to jump about 4% and finish the week at $4.204/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio contracted significantly to 24:1, but is still about four times above the ratio considered parity....