U.S. benchmark WTI rose 5% last week, its third straight week of gains, as markets continue to shrug off demand impacts from the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Futures started the week lower, with WTI down 0.8% at $81.08/bbl in mid-morning trading and Brent down 0.8% at $81.60/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 4.0% higher at $3.98/MMBtu.
Canada’s oil sands producers shipped record crude exports to primarily Asian overseas markets in December thanks to a new link to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
A Dutch gas field scheduled for shutdown later this year is being asked to nearly double production in its final stretch of life to accommodate Europe’s energy shortage, which showed signs of easing last week on forecasts for milder weather.
Petrobras and Novonor, formerly Odebrecht, plan to take their ownership stakes in Braskem SA public in stock offerings worth an estimated $32 billion after adjustments to their shareholder agreement.
Indonesia has not yet reached a decision on lifting its coal export ban as authorities continue discussing logistics issues that have slowed efforts to distribute coal to domestic power plants. Coal traders in China, the world’s top coal importer, say they have built up enough stockpiles to withstand the loss of Indonesia’s exports.
Decades of dependence on Asian factories, especially in China, has been upended by delays, surging freight rates and port congestion, prompting companies to test whether the U.S. can regain some of the manufacturing output it ceded in recent decades.
The overall vacancy rate for U.S. industrial space fell in the fourth quarter to a record low of 3.7%, as Dallas-Fort Worth leads the nation in new warehouse construction.
Dole, the world’s largest fresh produce company, plans to reduce its market exposure in 2022 as shipping delays and a lack of refrigerated containers slow agricultural exports, leaving the U.S. market awash in certain products and causing some prices to decline.
Fertilizer prices driving up food inflation swung wildly last week, ending Friday on the sharpest decline since 2009, which traders fear will be short-lived.
Walmart is expanding its InHome delivery service to 30 million households, allowing employees wearing cameras to enter a customer’s home to deliver groceries straight to the refrigerator.
New York financial giant Citigroup is moving forward with plans to put all unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave by Jan. 14.
Surging COVID-19 cases across the U.S. have caused some soon-to-be public companies to delay their stock market debuts, as new rules at the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market now mandate vaccines and require negative virus tests for all guests.
Alaska Airlines cut its schedule by 10% the rest of the month due to staff shortages caused by COVID-19 infections. The move comes after U.S. airlines scrubbed about 7% of all flights between Dec. 24 and Jan. 6.
Growth in the U.S. services economy fell an unsurprising 7.1% in December from the previous month’s record pace, the latest purchasing managers index shows.
India has seen an eightfold rise in daily COVID-19 infections over the last 10 days, including more than 140,000 reported Saturday, the most since May, prompting the nation to start administering COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to its front-line workers and vulnerable elderly population.
China is struggling to contain its latest COVID-19 outbreak, with an additional 95 infections added last Friday. The northwestern metropolis of Xian is headed for its fifth week of ultra-strict lockdowns, while Zhengzhou closed all public restaurants, venues and schools. China could delay a restart in widespread international travel another three years, officials signaled.
Australia’s total COVID-19 infections surpassed 1 million Monday, with more than 500,000 recorded in the last week.
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