"While resin processors were generally aggravated by the current high price level of commodity grade resins, overall spirits were high and a sense of optimism was in the air." That was the viewpoint of Michael Greenberg, CEO of spot-trading platform, The Plastics Exchange (TPE), whose company exhibited last week at NPE2012.
TPE reported that the spot resin markets were very quiet last week as the industry gathered in Orlando, adding that although the sheer number of people attending NPE seemed below the previous five shows his company has exhibited at, "People were there to do business." Speaking of business, as the market entered April, polyethylene contracts added a total of $0.06/lb, $0.03/lb each if February and March. Polypropylene buyers saw their contract prices run up $0.215/lb over the same 2-month period.
Energy markets were mixed in less-volatile trading, as May crude oil futures edged just $0.29/bbl higher to end the week at $103.31/bbl. May natural gas futures continued to erode, shedding another $0.037/mmBtu to settle at $2.089/mmBtu, a fresh 10-year low. The crude oil : natural gas price ratio ran out to a new record of 49.5:1, which presents a tremendous cost advantage to integrated North American PE producers who derive the vast majority of their feedstocks from the natural gas chain, while their international counterparts source most of their feedstocks from more expensive crude oil....