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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
Market Update
November 20, 2015


The commodity resin markets continued to transact at an elevated pace; with a short week to go, we have already generated amongst the highest monthly volumes of the year. Spot prices were mixed, Polyethylene was both modestly higher and lower based on grade, while Polypropylene was steady to slightly weaker. PE contracts are again rolling flat in November and the twice delayed $.05/lb increase is now slated for Dec. PP contracts should see an average increase of about $.03/lb, with some timing and magnitude variance amongst participants. While direct PE exports are seemingly still shipping at a rapid rate, incremental volumes through the secondary market are challenged by soft international resin markets and the strong value of the US Dollar.

The major energy markets were mixed and January rolled to the front month. WTI Crude Oil volatility was reduced and traded in less than a 5% range; the Jan futures contract ended the week at $41.90/bbl, down just a dime. Jan Brent Oil futures added a tad, rising $.19/bbl to settle Friday at $44.66/bbl. Natural Gas futures eeked out a small gain on Monday and then fell each day from there, chunking off a hefty $.235/mmBtu, 9.3%, to $2.291/mmBtu. Spot Ethane fell a quarter-cent to $.1775/gal ($.075/lb); Propane regained $.005/gal to $.415/gal ($.118/lb).

Spot Ethylene trading was fairly tepid; quite a bit of material changed hands, but in a very tight price range. The majority of Ethylene transactions for November delivery, including the most recent, were concluded at $.215/lb down a half-cent. Aside from the occasional hiccup, most gulf crackers are now up and running near full capacity. Forward Ethylene prices rise monthly until they peak in April at a nearly $.255/lb, almost a $.04/lb premium to current levels.

Spot Polyethylene trading remained active, even though the flow of offers had subsided. Buyers were seen procuring material for early Dec, getting ahead of any potential negotiating friction early next month when producers will attempt their 3rd shot at the nickel increase. LDPE and LLDPE film grades were in good demand and prices rose $.005/lb. Injection grades were more available and saw less buying interest, those prices eased a half-cent. Given weak energy and international resin markets, Houston traders were apprehensive and not looking to make large purchases without firm customer orders.

The spot Propylene market again saw limited activity, though prices ultimately edged slightly higher. PGP for November sold as low as $.2875/lb, before changing hands back steady at $.29/lb. There was subsequently unfilled buying interest at a half-cent higher prior to Friday’s close. Forward PGP prices rise about a penny to $.305/lb by the March 2016 peak, before trailing off gently through the balance of 2016. RGP was flat at $.185/lb.

Polypropylene trading was relatively light, returning to a more typical level of activity similar to what we have experienced during much of 2016. Spot and contract PP prices continue to converge and this past week, spot Polypropylene copolymer shed a half-cent, while scarcer Homopolymer held steady. Although deft searching can yield valuable spot material, the marketplace remains categorically undersupplied, which has enabled producers to expand margins significantly throughout the year. November PP contracts will see another increase including a penny for the bump up in PGP monomer and perhaps another $.02/lb or so.

We wish you and your families a Happy Thanksgiving – it is a great time to acknowledge our blessings with hope for peace throughout the world.

Total Offers 15,121,112 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
LLDPE - Film2,498,128$.540$.600$.530$.570
HDPE - Blow Mold2,340,920$.520$.595$.520$.560
HDPE - Inj2,306,416$.530$.600$.520$.560
PP Copo1,701,392$.520$.660$.610$.650
LLDPE - Inj1,465,472$.580$.620$.560$.600
LDPE - Film1,351,840$.540$.610$.550$.590
HMWPE - Film1,275,472$.530$.585$.530$.570
LDPE - Inj1,112,736$.600$.660$.580$.620
PP Homo1,068,736$.530$.670$.595$.635
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