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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
ThePlasticsExchange.com
Market Update
February 16, 2018

Summary

Spot resin trading was a bit slower, transactions were difficult to complete and it took some serious hustle by our trading desk to generate volumes that tallied just a tad above average. Production issues, upstream restocking and strong exports continue to keep surplus resin from overly weighing on the market. Polyethylene prices were mixed and Polypropylene levels were again softer. Processor demand was off and buying interest was focused on filling immediate needs and generally for truckloads rather than railcars. The general consensus seems to be gravitating towards minimal purchases with hopes of lower prices ahead.

The energy markets were mixed as Crude rebounded while Nat Gas remained pressured. WTI Crude futures initially continued lower, but found a bottom mid-week and rallied from there. April WTI, the new front month, recouped a net $2.56/bbl to end the week at $61.55/bbl. April Brent Oil futures settled Friday at $64.84/bbl, up $2.05/bbl. April Natural Gas futures had a relatively narrow trading range, and once again ended in the red, shedding $.026/mmBtu to $2.558/mmBtu. NGLs saw little change; spot Ethane held flat at $.24/gal, ($.101/lb) and after weeks of pressure Propane levels steadied at $.81/gal ($.23/lb).

The monomer markets were also a little quieter, having already fallen sharply the past several weeks. Spot Ethylene prices were fractionally higher, but remained near the previous week’s close, still around $.22-.23/lb, essentially 6-7 month lows. Spot PGP prices fell further, plunging through the psychological support of $.50/lb. March PGP transacted at $.47/lb and was indicated lower from there. PGP for the second quarter was pegged at $.45/lb and below – quite a break from the Jan peak of $.68/lb. After jumping $.09/lb in Jan to $.59/lb, Feb PGP contracts have been discussed down $.06/lb, but this has not been seen as a market-wide settlement.

Polyethylene trading pulled back, volumes were reduced and remained fairly spread out along the full range of commodity resins. There was a bit of a run on HDPE for blow molding and prices jumped $.02/lb as supplies snugged up. HMWPE for film held its lofty level due to production issues and the Force Majeure. LDPE high clarity added a half-cent, while LLDPE Butene lost the same, reestablishing the full $.05/lb premium which is fairly typical. Prime LD and LLD for injection was scarce, but it was fairly available as widespec. PE exporters complained of limited availability as producers seem to be selling more into international markets directly. The $.04/lb increase appears solid in Feb, there is another $.03/lb nominated for March.

Spot Polypropylene gave back another cent as negative sentiment took a tighter grip on a least the buy-side of the market. Processors were confident that the $.09/lb cost-push increase endured in Jan will unwind between Feb and March, and the bulk of it in Feb. In the meantime, overall PP supplies, particularly prime, are still tight and high flow material is actually hard to come by. However, rougher PP material has been more available and seen discounted into the export market. So while buyers have backed away, seeking to hold minimal inventories, those in need of urgent material are still paying the price for immediate supply.

Total Offers 13,059,664 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
HDPE - Inj4,008,072$.590$.690$.570$.610
LLDPE - Inj1,760,484$.590$.740$.670$.710
LLDPE - Film1,675,496$.600$.700$.580$.620
LDPE - Film1,410,944$.660$.710$.640$.680
HDPE - Blow Mold1,290,368$.640$.700$.620$.660
PP Copo1,148,552$.620$.760$.650$.690
PP Homo944,828$.600$.730$.620$.660
LDPE - Inj498,644$.640$.710$.630$.670
HMWPE - Film322,276$.680$.720$.650$.690
 
 
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