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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
Market Update
April 18, 2014


Spot resin trading slowed a bit from the very rapid rate of the previous three weeks. There was an average flow of fresh railcars and while all commodity grade resins can still be readily sourced, national resellers and Houston exporters seem to be successfully working off some of their heavy inventories. Producers are doing their best to keep PE contracts flat in April while processors are looking for a $.02/lb decrease. PP contracts are settling down $.01/lb, it is the third small decrease in as many months.

The major US energy markets were both higher again; the front month futures contracts began to roll. June Crude Oil futures gained $.75/bbl to end the week at $103.37/bbl. May remains the front month for Natural Gas and was lower the first part of the week, but jumped $.21/mmBtu on Thursday to $4.741/mmBtu, netting a gain of $.119/mmBtu.The Crude Oil: Natural Gas ratio came in to 21.8:1. Spot Ethane prices added a quarter-cent to end the week at $.30/gal ($.126/lb). Spot Propane recovered further to $1.12/gal ($.3175/lb).

The spot Ethylene market again saw heightened activity as several crackers remained offline for maintenance. Ethylene for April delivery initially continued higher reaching $.545/lb, but then slid into negative territory mid-week, down to as low as $.53/lb. It then bounced back to most recently trade Thursday at $.54/lb for a slight gain. The front two months are priced closely and then the forward curve takes on a backwardated shape providing a $.015/lb discount by Dec 2014.

Spot Polyethylene market activity chilled from its fervent pace and prices were flat across the board. Domestic PE demand in March improved about 150M lbs over Feb, the 2.6 billion lbs purchased was about 50 million more than the trailing 12 month average. The spot export arbitrage was closed so exports slowed for the third straight month to just 522 million lbs, the lightest since April 2012. Producers rectified a number of production issues and ran their reactors at a healthy 94% during March, making about 400 million lbs more than issue-laden Feb. When the dust settled, after three consecutive months of draws, collective upstream inventories grew 87 million lbs to begin April with 3.24 billion lbs, still about 60 million lbs below the trailing 12 month average.

The spot Propylene market was slow again. There were just a couple transactions for April PGP and most recently at $.69/lb, which was fractionally higher. The forward curve remained backwardated to the tune of $.02/lb by the end of 2014, the discounts begin in June. April PGP contracts settled down $.01/lb to $.71/lb. Spot RGP hovered just above $.60/lb, providing a healthy spread of $.08/lb to PGP.

Spot Polypropylene trading ran about average this past week and prices held firm. National resellers have been pruning their surplus supplies around the country, while all Generic Prime commodity grades of HoPP & CoPP are still readily available to ship from Houston in packages. In March, domestic PP demand improved 122M lbs over February’s dismal results, but still the 1.28 billion lbs purchased was 52 million lbs below the trailing 12 month average. PP exports in March were about average at 50 million lbs. Producers ran their reactors at nearly 91%, the 1.406 billion lbs produced was the most since Aug 2013, contributing to an inventory build of 77 million lbs, the third straight monthly increase. Producers collectively began April with 1.543 billion lbs on hand, about 50 million lbs above the trailing 12 month average.

The spot resin markets slowed a little in this past holiday-shortened week. Transacted volumes were typical while material availability remains very good. Spot Polyethylene prices were flat and it looks like April contracts could still either roll steady or perhaps see a small decline but that might wait until May. Spot Polypropylene prices were also steady and contracts in April are settling down $.01/lb.

Total Offers 19,943,040 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
HDPE - Inj5,918,812$.730$.820$.740$.780
LDPE - Film4,273,096$.730$.820$.740$.780
HDPE - Blow Mold3,098,876$.700$.770$.690$.730
LLDPE - Film1,276,576$.730$.790$.700$.740
HMWPE - Film1,221,380$.750$.800$.720$.760
PP Homo1,182,460$.780$.820$.760$.800
LLDPE - Inj1,099,104$.730$.800$.705$.745
PP Copo936,368$.735$.790$.770$.810
LDPE - Inj936,368$.735$.790$.725$.765
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