Stretch Film Pricing Oct 2012
The US energy markets fell in volatile trading and November, quoted here, began rolling to the front month. Nov Crude Oil futures bounced off the week’s low of $91.55/bbl to settle at $92.89/bbl on Friday, a net loss of $6.44/bbl. Nov Natural Gas futures, which have been priced at a premium to Oct, shed $.012/mmBtu to end the week at $3.071/mmBtu. The Crude Oil: Nat Gas ratio contracted to 30:1.
The spot Ethylene market actively traded both higher and lower; however, it was a fairly tight range and ultimately ended the week about steady at $.575/lb. The bulk of the week’s volume was seen in prompt months Sept and Oct, with material for next month delivery at a slight $.005/lb discount. The forward curve steepens from there, priced at a $.03/lb discount for December, while the backwardation is a full $.07/lb at 12 months out. Several crackers ran at net lower rates for the week due to unplanned complications, a couple crackers are also scheduled to come down for maintenance in the coming weeks. Ethane prices were down almost a penny to $.31375/gal ($.1325/lb).
Spot Polyethylene prices averaged $.005/lb higher, based mostly on a lack of supply - there is very little Generic Prime available in the market. August proved to be a banner month as domestic PE sales reached 2.82 billion lbs, the most since Oct, 2007. It was the third straight month with sales above 2.7 billion lbs, which has not been achieved since 2006. Producers ran reactors full out at 99% of nameplate capacity and even though export sales were off a bit to 575 million lbs, upstream PE inventories were reduced further to 2.716 billion lbs, the lowest level of the year. September PE contracts were mostly steady; however those buyers that only saw a $.03/lb increase in Aug are paying up a deuce to match the rest of the industry’s nickel. There are as much as $.06/lb of increases nominated for Oct, perhaps the tight supply situation can maintain the upward momentum.