Polyethylene and polypropylene each gave back the $0.01/lb that was tacked on the previous week, in a week that was busy for the spot resin markets. The Plastics Exchange (TPE) reports there was a good flow of material seen at slightly lower prices, and while demand remained slack, a fair number of deals still came together. The markets have lost some of their upward momentum, as March PP contracts settled up just a nickel after being initially nominated to increase $0.15/lb. There are $0.03 -$0.10/lb of PE increases on the table for March, but it now seems that at the most it will be $0.03/lb, and even that remains uncertain, according to TPE.
Energy markets were mixed in less-volatile trading, as front month futures contracts rolled to May. Crude Oil futures shed just $0.29/bbl to settle at $107.58/bbl on Friday. May natural gas futures ticked up $0.011/mmBtu to end the week at $2.324/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio moved in to 44:1, which is extremely wide by historic standards. While 6:1 is considered parity, it has not been there since the end of 2008....