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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
Market Update
September 15, 2017


The spot resin markets continued to transact at a significantly heightened pace, far outstripping our previous week’s activity. Both Polyethylene and Polypropylene prices continued to climb with gains of $.02-.05/lb seen, depending on grade. The week, however, did start out a tad slower, partly because Mondays are simply the slowest trading day of the week. However, after such a fast and furious price rise over the previous two weeks, there was a real lull in transactions as the market participants digested these elevated prices.

On Tuesday, new offers emerged from suppliers who had held back material in the immediate aftermath of the storm; the higher level was too compelling and resin availability swelled. Others that had waited for assurance that their warehoused material was not affected by the Houston flooding also began to sell off their stocks, much to satisfaction of processors in need. Further, as the Houston area railroad tracks cleared and cars began reaching packaging facilities, another round of material became offered as the resins’ ready dates became known. With a heavy flow of fresh supply, the market paused for a moment, and the rally temporarily stalled, there was even an intraday down tick that did not last.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, word began to circulate that a major HDPE complex which was flooded would remain offline for an extended period, and likely not re-start sooner than mid-November. Around the same time, there were discussions that Hexene co-monomer would be extra short and another run on LLDPE film resins also ensued. Our phones lit up and orders for several thousand tons rushed in, cleaning out available HDPE blow molding and LLDPE film supplies, and some buy orders remained unfilled. This surge pushed prices even higher, which magically brought out additional resin offers that were also instantly scooped up by the pent up demand.

Although some are still running at reduced rates, the majority of Houston area petrochemical complexes have now returned back to production. Please follow the link below for Petrochem Wire’s 65th and most current update detailing Hurricane Harvey’s destructive impact on individual Houston Petrochemical and resin producing complexes. For those wishing to subscribe to any of PCWs 10 daily and weekly market reports, just send a message to Kathy Hall, Executive Editor, and tell her The Plastics Exchange sent you to get a 10% discount for new subscriptions during September.

The major energy markets all moved higher amid increased volatility which averaged a 6% range; front month contracts also rolled. WTI Crude Oil began the week under pressure but ultimately scored gains every day. The November Crude contract rose 5% and ended the week at $50.44/bbl, up $2.38/bbl. December Brent Oil gained ground each day, settling Friday at $55.42/bbl up $1.84/bbl. November Natural Gas futures earned $.12/mmBtu and headed into the weekend at $3.085/mmBtu, recovering 2/3 of the previous week’s loss.

The monomer markets maintained their active pace and large volumes of material changed hands. Ethylene for Sept delivery added about $.015/lb to last transact a shade under $.32/lb. Propylene trading was also quite active, though PGP prices saw little change. PGP for Sept delivery held on to the previous week’s 7% gain and then edged up fractionally to $.445/lb. Market talk emerged about a pending $.07/lb increase for Sept PGP contracts, which would be right in line with our estimate. Ethane added almost $.02/gal to $.265/gal ($.111/lb); Propane jumped more than $.03/gal to $.87/gal ($.246/lb).

Total Offers 10,481,996 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
HDPE - Blow Mold2,204,600$.660$.730$.650$.690
PP Homo1,962,828$.660$.730$.640$.680
LDPE - Film1,402,576$.720$.760$.680$.720
PP Copo1,152,828$.670$.770$.690$.730
LLDPE - Film1,102,300$.660$.730$.630$.670
LDPE - Inj875,920$.650$.760$.680$.720
HDPE - Inj630,920$.720$.780$.730$.770
HMWPE - Film576,828$.650$.720$.660$.700
LLDPE - Inj573,196$.720$.790$.690$.730
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