Oil prices snapped a seven-day losing streak Monday, jumping more than 5% on news of a weaker U.S. dollar and robust global equities. Crude futures continued their rise in mid-day trading, with WTI up 2.5% at $67.29/bbl and Brent up 2.8% at $70.69/bbl. Natural gas fell 0.6% to $3.92/MMBtu.
Five workers are dead and six injured after a fire on Sunday at an offshore oil platform operated by Pemex, cutting Mexico’s oil production by about a quarter, or 444,000 bpd. It is the second major fire at a Pemex offshore rig in two months.
Hess Corporation joined Chevron in mandating COVID-19 vaccines for some of its employees, requiring those working in the Gulf to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
Tropical Storm Henri remained stationary over the U.S. Northeast Monday, drenching the region and knocking out power to more than 100,000 structures. Damage from the storm could total $8 billion, forecasters predict.
High pressure weather systems in the U.S. West — the source of record-breaking heat waves and drought in recent months — have had an opposite effect on the East Coast, which saw the sixth wettest month in more than a century in July.
Some 63% of the U.S. spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition compared to 6% the same time last year, a result of persistent heat waves baking the U.S. West and pushing up prices for staple crops.
Texas’ power grid operator expects demand to reach record highs today as the state sees yet another heat wave, with temperatures in Houston rising into the high 90s.
Roughly 153,000 acres of California forest designated as carbon-offset areas have been burned this year.
The state’s Caldor Fire grew to more than 106,000 acres with just 5% containment Monday, destroying more than 400 homes in its path.
Aided by widespread drought, the Dixie Fire grew to 725,822 acres with just 40% containment.
Bulk carrier rates crossed $50,000 per day Monday, pushing the Baltic Dry Index up 55 points to 4,147, its highest level in more than 11 years.
The number of container ships leaving Chinese ports fell by 6% from July to August, with regional congestion growing over outbreaks of COVID-19 and a terminal closure at the world’s third-busiest port of Ningbo.
A terminal at China’s Shanghai airport will remain closed after five new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday, halting cargo deliveries for the foreseeable future due to the nation’s “zero tolerance” virus policy.
While imports continue to soar, exports from the top 10 U.S. container ports fell 8.3% in July compared to the same time last year. Exports from the Port of Los Angeles fell 27.6% to the lowest level since February 2005, with empty container exports outnumbering full containers by 3 to 1. Analysts point to equipment shortages and higher tariffs on exports for the slide.
A planned widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel is expected to accommodate an additional 1,400 vessels per year through the Port of Houston by 2025.
Prices for iron ore, the world’s second-most-traded commodity, have fallen 40% since July after China announced a desire to keep steel output at 2020 levels this year.
New orders for robots and other factory equipment to build electric vehicles has accelerated the U.S. manufacturing sector’s rebound, with automakers planning to invest more than $37 billion into SUV and electric vehicle production by 2025.
Samsung announced plans to boost capital investments by $205 billion over the next three years, as the South Korean tech giant seeks greater market share in the global semiconductor industry.
Volvo will halt production at a Swedish plant next week over the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage.
Walmart has opened its last-mile delivery service to other U.S. merchants as it seeks to capitalize on shipping delays at traditional carriers ahead of the peak holiday season.
Average daily COVID-19 infections in the U.S. have climbed past 137,000, a 230% surge over the last month, while the country’s seven-day average for virus deaths topped 1,000 for two straight days for the first time since March. The country reported 229,831 new cases and 908 virus fatalities Monday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Maine rose 66% over the past week to their highest level since May.
Hawaii reported 893 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, a record, as the state mulls reimposing broad testing requirements on travelers. The state’s governor is discouraging tourists from visiting the state.
New COVID-19 cases in California are on the rise, with the state reporting a 10% increase in infections over the past two weeks.
Arizona reported 2,632 new COVID-19 cases Monday, the first time in five days that daily infections dropped below 3,000, while hospitalizations in the state rose to 1,901, the most since February.
Indiana saw 20,416 new COVID-19 cases last week, a surge of 32.5% from the previous week.
Pennsylvania has reported 7,652 new COVID-19 infections since Friday, despite more than 80% of the state’s population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Virginia have returned to levels not seen since last year’s peaks.
U.S. home sales rose 2% in July as the median home price dropped to $359,500 from a record $362,800 in June.
U.S. service providers have reported sharply slower growth in August due to the recent surge in COVID-19, with a key index of sector activity falling to an eight-month low of 55.2 compared to 59.9 in July. Leisure and hospitality led the sector’s drop…
…despite overall service-sector spending rebounding to pre-pandemic levels:
Air travelers are canceling bookings and buying fewer tickets amid the resurgence of COVID-19, prompting several U.S. and international airlines to forecast quarterly losses.
Twenty-six crew members and a passenger suffered COVID-19 infections on a recent Carnival Cruise voyage, with the passenger later passing away from the illness.
Wind turbine manufacturers are reducing profit forecasts for the rest of 2021, reflecting rising raw material and transport costs despite growing demand for renewable energy.
Pepsi is setting targets to become “net water positive” by 2030, which would see the company replenish more water than it uses in production.
Australia’s largest state of New South Wales reported 818 new COVID-19 cases Monday, down only slightly from Sunday’s record of 830, as strict pandemic lockdowns will likely remain for the foreseeable future.
The Philippines reported 18,332 new COVID-19 infections Monday, a record.
New Zealand recorded 41 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, the most since April 2020.
South Korea reported 1,509 new COVID-19 cases, the 49th day of daily case counts above 1,000 led by a concentration of outbreaks in metropolitan Seoul.
An increase in COVID-19 vaccinations continues to spur euro zone business activity, with a key index dipping just slightly in August to 59.5, compared to 60.2 in July.
Germany’s GDP grew 1.6% in the second quarter, slightly beating analyst estimates on the tail of a first-quarter contraction of 2%.
Japan’s factory activity slowed in August, while its services sector shrank at its fastest pace since May 2020, with a key purchasing manager’s index dropping to 52.4 for the month, down from 53 in July.
At M. Holland
Thursday: What’s the outlook for plastics supply and the global supply chain? Join us for our Plastics Reflections Web Series featuring panelists from Business Publishing International, MTS Logistics, LyondellBasell and M. Holland. Register here for this webinar on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 1:00 pm CT/2:00 pm ET.
Matt Zessin, our Automotive Market Manager, was interviewed about materials trends for electric vehicles on the Automotive News Daily Drive podcast, accessible here.
M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight during prevailing force majeure. For more information, email our 3D Printing team.
Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets. To arrange a videoconference or meeting with any of our Market Managers, please visit our website.
M. Holland Company
We will provide further COVID-19 bulletins as circumstances dictate. For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.
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