Oil prices rose more than 4% last week on further signs that the COVID-19 Omicron variant might affect demand less than initially thought. Energy futures were higher in mid-morning trading, with WTI up 2.3% at $75.48/bbl and Brent up 3.0% at $78.39/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 6.7% higher at $3.98/MMBtu.
2022 crude oil consumption is expected to reach 99.53 million bpd, just shy of pre-pandemic levels, while U.S. price forecasts vary widely from as low as $35/bbl to as high as $140/bbl.
Europe’s Balkan region turned to rolling blackouts last week to help contain exorbitantly high energy prices.
Roughly 1 in 5 Americans surveyed said high energy prices have prevented them from paying at least one monthly bill in full the past year.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
“Exceptional drought” conditions were lifted for over 15% of California the past month, boosted by an early winter storm that brought snow and rain to much of the state.
U.S. rail carloads were up 1.7% annually the week ended Dec. 18 while intermodal volumes were down 6.9%, still affected by lower auto movements caused by the global chip shortage.
November truck tonnage on U.S. roads rose 4.3% to the highest level since April.
UPS will add a 30-cent surcharge to all domestic ground residential deliveries beginning Jan. 16, just three weeks after the company’s 2022 rate increases take effect and one day after fees on peak-season deliveries fall away.
Despite the number of Southern California logistics workers surging 24% during the pandemic, vacancies have outpaced hiring, with job openings nearly tripling during the same period.
The U.S. administration announced $230 million in grants to create three “pop-up” container yards and invest in dozens of other projects in 19 states to expand ports and increase cargo throughput.
U.S. auto sales are forecast to drop 17.5% in December from a year ago due to continued supply disruption. Car production in the U.K. fell 28.7% in November for the slowest month in 37 years.
The global shortage of semiconductors is potentially the most acute in older analog chips, which form the backbone of simple operations within larger, more complex electronics.
Foxconn, maker of semiconductors for many electronics companies including Apple, is delaying reopening a plant in southern India after production was suspended due to employee protests over a food poisoning outbreak at a company hostel.
A Russian maker of superfast LNG- and hydrogen-powered electric vehicle charging stations plans to expand into London next year.
Chinese officials said they would extend tariff exemptions on some U.S. imports until next June, although details have yet to be announced.
The U.S. reported 181,948 new COVID-19 infections and 76 virus fatalities Sunday. The seven-day case average stands at 214,499, the highest since January and up 80% in the past two weeks, including unusually large numbers of infections among children.
The antiviral drug remdesivir can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 by 87%, new research shows.
U.S. airlines canceled nearly 2,400 flights over the holiday weekend, traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year, due to staff shortages caused by COVID-19 Omicron infections. Just 1.7 million people passed through airport security Friday compared to 2.6 million on Christmas Eve 2019.
The U.S. is monitoring more than 60 cruise ships reporting COVID-19 outbreaks on board. A Carnival cruise ship from Florida was denied entry to two ports in the Caribbean islands after several COVID-19 cases were reported.
Most companies that had scheduled a return to offices in the New Year have delayed their plans due to the rapid rise in Omicron cases.
U.S. holiday sales since Nov. 1 rose a surprise 8.5% from last year, the fastest pace in 17 years, according to Mastercard.
High U.S. inflation is eating into wage gains made by salaried and non-salaried employees during the pandemic, new data shows.
Rental car companies are struggling to rebuild inventories after selling off much of their fleets at the start of the pandemic, pushing the average daily rental rate in the U.S. to $81 per day in December, up 31% from a year ago.
Automakers focused on sustainability are using recycled ocean plastic to manufacture airbags and recycled PET to make vehicle seat parts.
Nearly 100 million people have been driven into poverty by the pandemic, making less than $2/day, according to the World Bank.
The world economy will exceed $100 trillion for the first time next year, while China’s near-term growth rate has slowed, new projections show.
Japan’s 0.5% consumer inflation in November marked the biggest yearly rise in two years, largely a result of surging fuel costs.
The Mexican economy shrank a surprise 0.2% in October, the third month-over-month contraction in a row.
Canada’s economy grew 0.8% in October, the fifth consecutive month of gains, while officials said it is too early to gauge the effects of a shutdown in British Columbia trade activity after historic rain and flooding last month.
Germany’s giant current account surplus, for years the largest in the world, is shrinking due to wage increases, higher energy costs and massive pandemic-related government spending. Outlooks remain upbeat for most of the nation’s small and mid-size firms, surveys show.
At M. Holland
M. Holland will be closed Friday, Dec. 31 for the New Year’s holiday. We wish all a safe and happy new year!
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.
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