Oil futures dropped over 2% yesterday to log their lowest finish in almost a week. Crude futures were higher in mid-morning trading, with WTI up 0.9% at $90.14/bbl and Brent up 1.1% at $91.76/bbl. U.S. natural gas futures were 5.0% lower at $4.03/MMBtu.
High oil prices will drive U.S. producers to boost output to nearly 12 million bpd this year and a record 12.6 million bpd in 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts. The agency also upped its 2022 price forecasts for U.S. and global benchmark prices by about 11%.
Western Canada crude stockpiles have fallen to 36% of storage capacity, a record low for this time of year, as oil-sands producers prepare to shut some operations for maintenance. Dwindling supply could put even more upward price pressure on U.S. crude.
Almost half of last month’s record 9.5 million metric tons of European gas imports came from the U.S., with another 30 vessels set to arrive this month. The surge has oversaturated the European LNG market, with spot freight rates to the continent turning negative for the first time since 2019 after peaking at $273,000 in early December.
Mexico’s Pemex slashed oil exports to India, its third-largest market, to just 15,000 bpd as the nation works toward ending all crude exports by 2023. India plans to make up for the shortfall by importing more oil from Iraq.
Soaring demand from China and Mexico lifted U.S. farm exports 18% last year to a record $177 billion.
Arabica coffee futures rose 76% in 2021, the largest annual gain in more than a decade as drought and frost hit Brazil, the world’s top producer. U.S. coffee retailers are passing on the costs to consumers in the form of higher-priced menu items.
The U.S. reported 198,738 new COVID-19 infections and 3,277 virus fatalities Tuesday.
The U.S. trade deficit rose 27% to a record $859.1 billion on elevated consumer spending for overseas goods. The previous record was $763.53 billion set in 2006.
More than 60% of U.S. small businesses raised their prices last month due to labor and material costs, the highest percentage in a half-century.
U.S. households added more than $1 trillion in debt last year, the largest increase since 2007, driven by a jump in mortgage and auto loans. More Americans also are returning to pre-pandemic spending levels, with credit-card balances rising every quarter in 2021 to end the year at $856 billion.
A typical U.S. house found a buyer within 61 days in January, 10 days faster than a year ago and 29 days faster than the pace of sales from 2017-2020.
At $70.8 billion, foreign investment in U.S. commercial property returned to pre-pandemic levels last year as focus shifted from office buildings in major cities to hot locations such as warehouses, rental apartments and specialized office buildings for pharmaceutical businesses.
Big U.S. automakers are warning of consequences to dealerships that add to the already high sticker prices of cars, a practice enabled by pandemic-induced shortages.
Qualcomm plans to expand beyond its core cell phone market after automotive chip sales rose 21% in the most recent quarter, leading to $3.4 billion in net income. Ferrari, for example, made a recent announcement to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips in its vehicle dashboards.
Backlogged orders at Airbus shrank by 16 last month after a 52-jet contract with Qatar Airways was scrapped.
With electric vehicle sales in Europe projected to double each year for the next five years, the continent will likely need another 65 million chargers to fuel those vehicles, economists say.
At M. Holland
Plastics News reported that M. Holland earned a Bronze rating from EcoVadis, a trusted provider of business sustainability ratings. The article reports that our improved annual score for 2021 is due to progress in our diversity and inclusion program, wellness benefits, career development and more.
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