TPE resin pricing, May 21-25: PE eases; PP falls $0.01/lb; PE exports at lowest level in four years, PP shipments at a more than six-year low


Processors sought sharper decreases than the $0.04/lb most recently offered for May polyethylene (PE) contracts, and although one producer dropped May PE contracts by $0.07/lb, this has yet to be seen industry-wide.

Polypropylene (PP) contracts settled down $0.10/lb earlier in the month, according to spot trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), while spot markets for both materials have since traded well below these levels. Spot plastics trading activity was average last week, as volumes were softer and most commodity grade resins were priced marginally lower. TPE CEO Michael Greenberg noted that thoughts of still falling prices have left processors thinking in terms of de-stocking and minimizing purchases, which is contributing to growing upstream inventories.

Energy markets moved lower last week, as July crude oil futures fell for the fourth week in a row shedding $0.94/bbl to settle at $90.86/bbl on Friday, the lowest level in more than 6 months. July natural gas gave back much of the previous week's gains, sliding $0.233/mmBtu to end at $2.672/mmBtu. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio expanded to 34.5:1, although the spread has come in from its April record of 52:1. In spite of that, it is currently nearly six times the 6:1 ratio considered parity....
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