Market overview: Spot resin trading was swift as March drew to a close and April price increases came into play, but overall demand was a little disappointing, according to spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE), with a number of prospective buyers turning down what seemed to be good pricing. The overall market still moved higher with average polyethylene (PE) prices adding a penny and polypropylene rising another $0.03/lb. Resin producers, pressured by rising energy and monomer costs, are pushing April price increases of $0.06/lb for PE and $0.10/lb for PP. March PE contracts were up $0.02/lb, while PP contracts were $0.05/lb lower.
Energy Markets: U.S. energy prices were mixed last week, with May crude oil futures climbing $2.54/bbl to settle at $107.94/bbl on Friday, their highest level in two-and-a-half years. May natural gas futures gave back some some recent gains, shedding $0.128/mmBtu to finish the week at $4.362/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio expanded to nearly 25:1. At these levels, crude oil is about four tims the cost of natural gas when consumed or processed for comparable uses....