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Resin markets settle in for the summer

Summertime, and the living is easy in the spot resin markets. After an extended period of heightened trading activity, the spot resin markets have begun to slow down, reports the PlasticsExchange in its weekly report, noting that most of the month's business appears to have been booked.

Summertime, and the living is easy in the spot resin markets. After an extended period of heightened trading activity, the spot resin markets have begun to slow down, reports the PlasticsExchange in its weekly report, noting that most of the month's business appears to have been booked.

Image courtesy Cool Design/freedigitalphotos.net.

Polypropylene (PP) prices have begun to firm up again, with the spot market up as much as a penny this past week. Meanwhile, some weakness is spreading through the polyethylene market, as weaker international prices slow export sales out of North America. Resin producers have nominated a $0.05/lb price increase for both polyethylene (PE) and PP contracts in July. It will be interesting to see how the resin markets develop after many market participants take an early summer holiday break next week, note PlasticsExchange analysts.  

Active trading in the spot ethylene market led to a down tick by the end of the week, with ethylene for July delivery changing hands at around $0.355/lb, or down about a half cent. With the maintenance and expansion season over and the Evangeline pipeline reopened, Gulf area crackers are back operating at nearly full capacity. The forward ethylene curve remains fairly flat, with prices for all months through the end of 2016 quoted within a penny of prompt levels, according to the PlasticsExchange. 

Spot PE activity slowed this past week. Demand seems to have stalled as implementation of the looming $0.05/lb price hike appears increasingly unlikely for July.

There were few transactions in the spot propylene market, although the market experienced downward pressure throughout the week. Propylene monomer for July delivery settled Friday below $0.36/lb, the lowest price in six years. June contracts settled earlier this month down $0.02/lb to $0.40/lb. 

The spot PP market saw moderate trading activity, with sporadic buy orders sifting through thinning spot supplies. After six weeks of looser availability, the tightening supply/demand dynamic earned the PP market a $0.005/lb gain for the week, notes the PlasticsExchange.

Read the full weekly report on the PlasticsExchange website.

TAGS: Materials
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