January 18, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

COVID-19 Bulletin: January 18

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  • Oil prices rose half a percent Monday to seven-year highs before gaining further in late morning trading today, with WTI up 1.5% at $85.08/bbl and Brent up 0.9% at $87.23/bbl. U.S. natural gas was 2.1% higher at $4.35/MMBtu. 
  • Libya is clawing its way back to full oil output after blockades shut down 300,000 bpd of production last week. 
  • China is expected to time its upcoming release of strategic oil reserves to the high demand period of the Lunar New Year, sometime between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6
  • Prices for European jet fuel hit a three-year high yesterday as global air traffic withstands impacts from rising COVID-19 cases. Prices are expected to rise an extra 45% by July, analysts say. 
  • Russia has not yet scheduled gas deliveries to Germany on the Yamal-Europe pipeline next month, the second straight month of halted flows that continue to put upward pressure on soaring European energy prices. 
  • Shell expects solar and wind energy to surpass China’s use of coal for electricity generation by 2034
  • TotalEnergies and BP have each made successful bids for major new offshore wind farms in Scotland, a potent sign of the oil industry’s expansion into renewables.
  • Exxon Mobil, responding to investor and public pressure, pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.  

Supply Chain

M. Holland’s 2022 Plastics Industry Trends & Predictions

M. Holland’s market experts weigh in on what we can expect for the plastics industry in 2022. View the infographic and read more on current trends and predictions.

Domestic Markets

U.S. Airports Stay Busy Despite Omicron Surge
  • The CEOs of the U.S.’s largest airlines warned Monday of a “catastrophic disruption” to operations if telecommunication companies roll out 5G technology without restrictions near airports. 
  • About 5% of U.S. professionals surveyed were in video conferences for more than half their average workweek during the pandemic, led by marketing and advertising companies:
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International Markets

  • Germany’s total COVID-19 infections since the start of the pandemic surpassed 8 million as weekly transmission rates rose to a new-high. In a positive sign, virus ICU admissions are starting to decrease, officials said. 
  • Europe is prepping to restrict travel from Argentina, Australia and Canada due to COVID-19 fears. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in France hit their highest level since December 2020 yesterday after the biggest single-day increase since November 2020. Paris reimposed a partial outdoor mask mandate just days after dropping the measure. 
  • Denmark dropped its pandemic restrictions yesterday as new COVID-19 cases hit a pandemic record and hospitalizations rose to their highest level in a year. 
  • Austria’s government said it would issue fines of more than $4,000 this March to people unvaccinated against COVID-19. Greece is planning similar fees of just over $100 for unvaccinated people over age 60 this February. 
  • New COVID-19 infections in the U.K. are down 38% week over week, with under 85,000 reported for the second straight day Monday. 
  • The U.K. and Israel joined the growing list of nations shortening mandatory quarantine periods for cases of asymptomatic COVID-19. 
  • Health officials in Poland expect its fifth COVID-19 wave to peak in mid-February with over 60,000 infections per day, nearly double its prior peak. 
  • New COVID-19 infections in Russia more than doubled week over week to the highest daily totals in a month. 
  • A fourth COVID-19 booster appears to be only moderately effective at increasing antibody levels, leaving recipients still vulnerable to breakthrough infections, Israeli health officials say. 
  • Rising COVID-19 cases prompted China to halt ticket sales to the upcoming Beijing Olympics. Some people have been locked down inside office buildings since Sunday as authorities conduct emergency testing and contact tracing. 
  • Daily COVID-19 cases in India surpassed 250,000 for the fifth straight day, prompting officials to ban political gatherings for upcoming state elections until later this month. Infections are down sharply the past two days in the nation’s largest cities, however. 
  • Australia suffered a record number of COVID-19 fatalities yesterday as hospitals struggle with surging admissions and staff shortages due to the virus. The nation reversed its rules and will now accept travelers who received their COVID-19 vaccination from Russia’s Sputnik V shots
  • One in two Filipinos who test for COVID-19 are positive, as the nation’s new daily cases surge to their highest levels of the pandemic. The government banned unvaccinated people from public transportation, among other restrictions. 
  • Daily COVID-19 cases are up 3,000% in Argentina and 1,900% in Brazil from a month ago, increasing strain on hospitals even as the region’s vaccination rates are among the highest in the world. 
  • Global deliveries of COVID-19 shots to developing nations have surpassed 1 billion
  • It could take up to two years for global unemployment to return to pre-pandemic levels due to a high number of job vacancies worldwide, especially in low-income nations, economists say. 
  • Canada has seen its share of the global housing market frenzy, with home sales rising to an all-time high last year while inventories hit an all-time low.
  • In the U.K., property prices are rising at their fastest rate in six years
  • With plastic production forecast to double within 20 years, major international consumer brands including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and IKEA are calling for a reduction in plastic pollution ahead of a United Nations summit on the issue later this year. 

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight. 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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