Market overview: The spot resin markets continued to see heightened activity and good trading last week, as material availability increased and prices lowered. Spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), noted that "for the first time in ages," there were generic-prime railcar offers for almost the entire slate of commodity grade resins. Producers' proposed February contract increases include $0.05/lb for polyethylene (PE) and $0.03/lb for polypropylene (PP). The prospects of implementation, however, aren't strong at this time, according to TPE.
Energy markets moved sharply lower in active trading, as March crude oil futures shed $3.45/bbl to finish at $85.58/bbl-their lowest close since the end of November. March natural gas futures dropped $0.40/mmBtu, falling more than 9%, to finish at $3.91/mmBtu. That marks a new low price for the March contract. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio expanded out to 21.8:1....