Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation Links
Click here for a printable version
  Add an email to join our distribution list:  
  Past Reports
Weekly Market Update
Market Update
June 26, 2020


Spot resin trading hummed along as the end of the second quarter drew near. Completed volumes were better than year ago levels, but fell short of our first quarter average. Both Polyethylene and Polypropylene prices were firm and the bottom end of both of those markets continued to lift. The flow of fresh railcars slowed as producers seek to raise prices in July, some PE and PP grades have become outright scarce. Processors were again searching for very well-priced resin, but by the end of the week, most seemed to recognize that the stellar opportunities that had been dwindling, yet still available weeks ago, were now all gone and a new higher price cycle was underway. June Polyethylene contracts have increased $.04/lb and producers are riding the upward momentum having nominated another $.05/lb increase for July. Polypropylene contracts seem to be rolling flat again in June, though could actually justify a small cost-push increase; at the very least, recently rising monomer costs should translate to a moderate July increase. While demand in some sectors like automotive remain slack, other areas have shined including medical, single use bags, and resin exports in general. The overall domestic processing community is still ramping back up.

The major energy markets all settled lower this past week. WTI Crude Oil started off with strength and peaked Tuesday at $41.36/bbl. The market fell from there as the weekly storage report showed that despite the strong recovery rally, the overall fundamental picture remained relatively bleak. The August WTI contract ended Friday at $38.49/bbl down $1.34/bbl. Brent Oil rolled to September and saw a similar loss, shedding $1.21/bbl to $40.93/bbl. Natural Gas futures also rolled, the new front month August contract remained heavily pressured and chunked off a huge $.204/mmBtu to $1.544/mmBtu. The expiring July Nat Gas contract traded down to $1.432/mmBtu which was a fresh 25 year low. NGLs, largely affected by Nat Gas values, were also down big. Ethane lost $.032/gal to $.177/gal ($.075/lb). Propane dropped $.042/gal to $.47/gal ($.133/lb).

Monomer trading continued along last week’s tepid pace, volume was moderate as prices continued to work higher. Ethylene kicked off the week with good demand for prompt material before interest waned midweek. On Monday, spot June ethylene changed hands a couple times at $.12/lb in Louisiana while material in TX demanded a slight premium, deals were done there at $.1225/lb. Several more transactions were inked at similar prices midweek before June Ethylene was then bid up to $.125/lb Thursday and it ultimately settled at $.13/lb, a gain of $.0075/lb. Forward prices also rose to maintain the same contango shape, Ethylene pricing for the second half of peak 2021 currently rests at $.155/lb. Propylene saw growing interest with a few scattered deals completed throughout the week, mostly for future delivery, while July PGP was bid higher. By the end of the day Friday spot PGP settled up nearly a half cent to just under $.245/lb, with June PGP contracts targeted flat or up a cent, May contracts were priced at $.26/lb. With a key PDH unit still down, July PGP prices continued to edge higher and ended the week at $.2725/lb, which currently suggests that a few-cent increase could be seen for July.

Spot Polyethylene trading and pricing was solid this past week, though demand somewhat stalled as spot prices snugged up to reflect the $.04/lb increase being implemented for June contracts. Our trading desk managed to string together about an average number of deals, though business was more challenging than in previous weeks. Buyers were still looking for resin at old pricing, but availability continued to tighten and few special deals were to be found. Certain grades were difficult to source without jumping the price several cents, these included LDPE for film and injection, LLDPE Granular, as well as HDPE for film and blow molding. Most producers were essentially sold out for the remainder of the month as they turned their attention towards July along with their next $.05/lb increase. In the meantime, the middle market has provided good liquidity as savvy resellers added to inventories over the past couple months at historically cheap levels and their spec buying is starting to pay off. Export demand remained strong and buyers have become acclimated to higher price levels, which are starting to inch up again. We continue to have a positive outlook on PE pricing.

Polypropylene trading was good, but not great; completed volumes fell short of the previous week’s tally and prices ended flat, but with an upward bias as the bottom of the market cleaned up further. Prime truckload availability was adequate to fill most urgent requests, but premiums were sought and generally received, reseller inventories now seem to be thinning out. Generic prime railcar offers were limited, though there was a steady flow of good offgrade material, but those prices have been rising. Compounders continued to seek lower-end widespec railcars at low-ball pricing, but we have seen a growing trend for these cars to be sold into the export market, which has seen volumes grow in recent months. Braskem announced the construction completion of their new billion pound Polypropylene plant in LaPorte, TX. It is the first new PP plant built in the US in almost 20 years and will begin production of a full slate of Homopolymer, Copolymer and Random Copolymers later in the third quarter. Polypropylene contracts should be steady to up a cent in June and rising monomer costs currently point to a 3-4 cent increase for July. We remain somewhat bullish on PP pricing for the short / mid term.

Total Offers 12,914,284 lbs Spot Contract
ResinTotal lbsLowHighBidOffer
HDPE - Inj2,678,048$.360$.410$.350$.390
LLDPE - Film2,268,392$.370$.455$.350$.390
PP Copo1,741,828$.400$.500$.430$.470
PP Homo1,403,564$.380$.500$.410$.450
LDPE - Film1,135,932$.460$.550$.490$.530
HDPE - Blow Mold1,100,208$.380$.440$.350$.390
LLDPE - Inj961,656$.460$.520$.430$.470
HMWPE - Film879,104$.385$.430$.360$.400
LDPE - Inj745,552$.475$.540$.470$.510
Privacy Statement | Copyright © 2020 The Plastics Exchange. LLC. | Patent Protected | All Rights Reserved.