Polypropylene and polyethylene traded higher last week, with PP gaining a full $0.07/lb in an extremely active market, while PE rose as well, adding $0.02/lb. Resin trading platform The Plastics Exchange confirmed dozens of transactions, particularly in PP, where rapidly rising feedstock costs could push January contracts up by as much as $0.15/lb. Overall export interest was muted by the rising prices, with "quite a bit of material" destined to ship overseas redirected to the domestic market, according to TPE CEO Michael Greenberg.
Energy prices rose modestly, with February crude oil futures adding another $0.47/bbl last week to settle at $93.56/bbl. Prices have moved consistently higher since the mid-December cycle low near $86/bbl. February natural gas fell below $3.09/mmBtu on Wednesday, $1/mmBtu off its late November highs, before rebounding to close the week at $3.327/mmBtu for a net gain of $0.04/mmBtu. The crude oil: natural gas ratio remained just above 28:1....