Polyethylene ticked a half-cent higher while polypropylene shaved another penny, with overall spot resin trading average and off slightly from last week's more active tempo. Spot-trading platform The Plastics Exchange (TPE) reported that PP saw month-end liquidation, much of which cleared at deep discounts. PE was not overly supplied and lack of demand might best characterize that market. March PE contracts were mostly higher, completing the $0.04/lb price increase that was only partially implemented in February. PP contracts reversed course in March, cleanly erasing the $0.06/lb increase that was tacked on in February. PP contracts are poised to fall sharply in April; PE producers have nominated another $0.04/lb increase.
Energy markets rose last week, as May crude oil futures added $3.52/bbl to finish at $97.23/bbl, the highest close since mid-February. Natural gas futures continued to rally and have now recorded gains for 6 straight weeks. The May futures contract settled at $4.024/mmBtu on Friday, up $0.043/mmBtu. The crude oil: natural gas ratio expanded slightly to 24:1, about four times the 6:1 ratio considered parity....