The Polyethylene market was quite busy this past week, which spanned the end of Nov and beginning of Dec. Spot material availability remained plentiful and despite the significant strength in the energy complex, PE prices continued to slide - most grades shed another cent. Incremental export demand has languished and Houston warehouses are currently full of resin with packaging lines
Running at capacity - some are booked through the end of the year. Export demand perked up amid lower asking prices and the surge in upstream energy, but the log-jam in Houston could pose a problem if suppliers look to purge inventory in December.
November PE contracts were down $.03/lb.; notwithstanding the relief, processors have been limiting purchases, opting to work down inventories as they anticipate another decrease in December.
In the Meantime, buyers have been tapping the spot market, which has been well discounted to contracts, to fill in supply gaps along the way. As such, we have seen a notable uptick in demand for LDPE And LLDPE film grades. Although Dec resin markets often see sporadic activity, we expect domestic demand to continue to improve as purchases have lagged the past two months; better buying will be somewhat offset by those processors desiring to limit year-end inventory.
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