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  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
ThePlasticsExchange.com
Market Update
April 21, 2017

Summary

Spot resin trading was challenging this past week. The flow of requests slowed, while railcar offerings increased and transactions were difficult to complete. Sellers chased bids amid weakening sentiment and prices for both Polyethylene and Polypropylene moved lower. PE contracts are rolling flat in April, producers will give the second $.03/lb a second shot in May. PP contracts should see a sharp decline in April and another chunk of relief in May, as monomer costs deflate. Resin prices are slipping in Houston as the market seeks a level to trigger better export demand.

The major energy markets saw red this past week, all experiencing significant declines. June WTI Crude Oil lost a hefty $3.98/bbl, about 7.5%, to settle at $49.62/bbl. Brent Oil logged a similar $3.93/bbl loss. Natural Gas futures rolled to June and gave up $0.115/mmBtu, to finish the week at $3.192/mmBtu. Ethane eased a tad to $.245/gal ($.103/lb). Propane was lower and ended the week at $.65/gal ($.185/lb).

Ethylene saw little change as spot prices hung on the higher end of its range, just shy of $.30/lb. Spot PGP prices continued to erode, peeling off another $.015/lb to $.41/lb, about $.13/lb below the winter peak. April PGP contracts have yet to settle and the level of decline continues to grow. We might now see a dime decrease come through.

Polyethylene trading activity was limited; buyer's interest was lacking while suppliers were out looking for more orders. Availability has improved and most commodity grades dropped a penny. Processors successfully staved off the second half of the $.06/lb increase in April, producers will try again next month.  At this point, processors and resellers both seem comfortable to keep inventories a little light, not fearing much potential upside to pricing. The discount between lower Houston pricing and domestic contract levels has grown.

Polypropylene offers continued to cascade lower while bids dropped as the market eyes a growing decrease in contract prices. After enduring $.205/lb of 1st quarter increases, processors anticipate quick relief, now that monomer costs have been falling fast. Resellers have been purging inventory and others appear to be taking low priced orders for next month expecting cheaper supply to match up.

There are whispers that April PGP could settle at $.42/lb, which would be down $.10/lb from March. This is quite a significant one month drop and processors will be looking to pull it all through to resin.  With supply issues resolving, lower forward monomer costs indicate additional relief for May.

Total Offers 14,201,200 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
PP Homo2,858,576$.485$.590$.500$.540
PP Copo2,247,472$.545$.630$.520$.560
LLDPE - Film1,597,748$.560$.660$.550$.590
LDPE - Film1,594,552$.630$.690$.610$.650
HDPE - Blow Mold1,380,460$.540$.635$.500$.540
LDPE - Inj1,311,196$.580$.680$.580$.620
HDPE - Inj1,272,276$.580$.670$.550$.590
LLDPE - Inj1,016,184$.590$.670$.570$.610
HMWPE - Film922,736$.570$.640$.530$.570
 
 
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