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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
ThePlasticsExchange.com
Market Update
November 29, 2019

Summary

The spot resin markets were pleasantly active this past holiday shortened week - for that we are thankful. Overall spot prices were steady this week. Sharp discounts continued to fly for offgrade railcars, while resellers maintained their efforts to trim uncommitted warehoused resins. Buying was generally good, some procured material for Dec usage, while others required rush deliveries to stay in production over the long Thanksgiving weekend. November brought price relief to processors, Polyethylene contracts decreased $.03/lb, while most Polypropylene contracts followed PGP $.025/lb lower. Exports remained robust and Houston area warehouses tried to keep up with the packaging flow.

The major energy markets bled red this past week. WTI Crude Oil prices pulled back sharply, back down into the mid $50s/bbl. The Jan futures contract lost $2.60/bbl to settle at $55.17/bbl. Brent Oil prices also dropped, but not as much as WTI, the Jan contract gave back $1.88/bbl to $60.49/bbl. Natural Gas rolled to January and spot levels collapsed, chunking off a huge $.429/mmBtu to $2.281/mmBtu. The generally mild weather exaggerated the already rising production to quickly erode the previously established winter premium. Ethane had a moderate loss, skidding $.017/gal to $.183/gal ($.077/lb). Propane was down slightly, losing just $.005/gal to $.548/gal ($.155/lb).

The monomer markets were tepid and prices ended marginally higher. Ethylene saw scattered bids and offers, but other than a large midweek transaction, deals were clearly difficult to finalize. On Friday spot Nov Ethylene settled up half a penny to $.235/lb. The forward Ethylene curve advanced in tandem, keeping the backwardated slope intact. Propylene started the week silently, but participants emerged on Tuesday and a couple of forward transactions were brought to completion. Interest then waned and November PGP finished its final week flat, around $.315/lb. Nov contracts settled down $.025/lb to $.35/lb. Prices along the PGP forward curve added nearly two cents, with some months nestling above $.36/lb, which indicates somewhat higher prices coming in 2020.

The spot Polyethylene market was surprisingly active during the Thanksgiving shortened week. Though our trading desk only completed an average volume of transactions, it was viewed positively given how many participants had already left for an early holiday break. Those buyers who inquired for material were presented with good fair market pricing and were not shy to transact. Deals were done in most grades, and some resins which had been tough to source, such as LDPE film, were quickly snatched up upon surfacing. Spot PE prices held firm, as supply was thin and buyers out to procure last minute material were in a weak position to negotiate. The contract market appears to be settling down $.03/lb for Nov, unwinding the Sept increase, which at the time was semi-surprising, but still palatable. The export market continued to be very active as international buyers flocked to North America for a cheap source of material. Heading into December, we expect more inventory shedding and surely some end of year steals as suppliers position their year-end inventories. Typically the month starts out busy and then grinds to a halt by the final full week, so please try to plan accordingly.

The spot Polypropylene market was busier than expected as Nov came to an end. Material availability for most grades was generally adequate and there were some sharp one-off deals offered. Buyers were ready with orders in hand, so consequently, completed volumes were hefty while overall prices for both HoPP and CoPP ended flat for the week. For the first time in about a month, HoPP buying outstripped our CoPP order flow and truckload volumes outweighed our railcar transactions. Direct processor demand also outshined reseller / distributor buying. Current spot monomer levels point to mild softness for December PP contracts, but plenty can still change as the month is just beginning.

Total Offers 15,660,540 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
HDPE - Inj2,740,048$.350$.440$.350$.390
PP Homo2,038,852$.450$.560$.440$.480
PP Copo2,022,368$.440$.570$.460$.500
HDPE - Blow Mold1,935,864$.360$.470$.350$.390
LLDPE - Inj1,902,484$.440$.530$.410$.450
LLDPE - Film1,865,220$.380$.470$.350$.390
LDPE - Film1,719,588$.430$.530$.450$.490
HMWPE - Film997,288$.365$.445$.360$.400
LDPE - Inj438,828$.440$.550$.430$.470
 
 
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