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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
Market Update
April 29, 2016


It was a good trading week; activity was heightened, demand was good and spot supplies were available, but thin. It took consistent effort to fill the heavy order flow. Polyethylene prices were mostly higher and saw plenty of movement between grades. Polypropylene slid a cent amid ample supply and soft spot demand. 

Crude Oil prices rallied further, WTI recovered more than $2/bbl to nearly $46/bbl, almost $20/bbl above the Jan low and back to a level not seen in 5 months. Ethylene was fractionally higher and Propylene was flat; production for both products has been reduced by mostly scheduled maintenance. Participants in both monomer markets are eyeing the return of offline capacity as well as the new facilities which are progressing, albeit slowly. 

Polyethylene producers secured their $.04/lb price increase in April, bringing the 2-month contract advancement to $.09/lb, which incidentally fully regained the previous 3 price declines. Those decreases were $.05/lb in Jan/Feb and $.04/lb back in September. There is not a cohesive increase effort for May. Despite the increase, domestic Polyethylene demand was very solid – having had held off ordering material, resisting higher prices, some processors needed to come to the market.   

Contrary to the final week in each of the previous two months, which saw a large purge of material, spot Polyethylene supplies were relatively limited at April's month-end, which created a challenging trading environment. 

LDPE film grades continue to be tight and prices jumped another $.02/lb. LDPE High Clarity, which amazingly transacted at par to LLDPE Butene in Feb, has regained a wide $.06 - .08/lb premium. HDPE was a little soft as traders and exporters eye fresh production from Braskem’s new reactor in Mexico, which has begun production. We are seeing good buying from Europe, which has countered waning interest from the Asian region. We expect a fairly firm spot market for the first part of May, which would support flat contracts and we will see from there.

Spot Polypropylene trading was somewhat uninspired. Supplies are much improved, led by several waves of imports. Prices remained pressured and peeled off another penny. We are seeing some surplus spot supply, which has mostly been Homopolymer, both Prime railcars for domestic delivery and Offgrade in Houston. The majority of Copolymer availability is imported. 

Processors are looking for additional relief aside from the $.03 - .05/lb decrease in April. Monomer has been mostly steady, so perhaps producers will share back a little more of their wide margin.

Total Offers 17,365,300 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
LDPE - Film3,955,176$.560$.680$.600$.640
LLDPE - Film3,452,232$.550$.610$.530$.570
HDPE - Inj2,198,048$.540$.590$.510$.550
PP Homo2,025,588$.570$.680$.550$.590
HDPE - Blow Mold1,839,312$.545$.590$.505$.545
LLDPE - Inj1,420,116$.570$.660$.580$.620
PP Copo1,024,000$.640$.680$.570$.610
HMWPE - Film776,828$.550$.590$.520$.560
LDPE - Inj674,000$.570$.660$.590$.630
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