COVID-19 Bulletin: July 28

July 28, 2021 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

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  • Oil prices traded up Tuesday following a 6.2-million-barrel draw in U.S. gas inventories, the largest since March. Energy futures were higher in mid-day trading, with WTI up 0.9% at $72.26/bbl, Brent up 0.4% at $74.81/bbl and natural gas was 1.3% lower at $4.02/MMBtu.
  • U.S. LNG exports rose by 42% in the first half of the year as colder weather in Europe and Asia boosted demand. 
  • LNG imports could decline by up to one-third in Japan, currently the world’s top importer, as the nation boosts renewable power generation over the next decade.  
  • India could follow China in tapping into a significant portion of its petroleum reserves, part of a plan to sell lower-priced crude to domestic refiners amid rising global oil prices. 
  • Royal Dutch Shell is acquiring U.S.-based renewable energy retailer Inspire Energy, expanding its footprint in the American renewables market with residential service to hundreds of thousands in Midwestern and Eastern states. 
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.  

Supply Chain

  • A blistering heat wave across the bulk of the U.S., concentrated in the Great Plains and South, has prompted 17 states to issue heat warnings or advisories, with roughly 30 million people expected to see temperatures above 100°F by the end of the week. 
  • Eighty-five large wildfires are burning across 13 states in the U.S. West:
    • California’s Dixie Fire expanded to nearly 200,000 acres Tuesday with only 22% containment.
    • Southern Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, the nation’s largest, spread to more than 410,000 acres with just 53% containment, unchanged from Monday. 
  • Chicago has become the latest choke point for U.S. supply chains.  
  • Canadian border and customs officials voted to go on strike just days ahead of a limited reopening of the nation’s land border with the U.S., a move expected to slow down commercial traffic and disrupt mail and duty collection. Many varieties of seafood are being dropped from restaurant menus due to port congestion, shortages of fisherman and truck drivers, and an 11% jump in seafood prices over the past year. 
  • Dry bulk shipping rates remained above $30,000 per day Monday, highlighting rare sustained market strength in an industry known for abruptly losing momentum.  
  • Shipping company Matson is launching a new express service to Northern California, hoping to help U.S. importers move stranded shipments from China and relieve supply chain bottlenecks.  
  • Apple joined Tesla in saying the global semiconductor shortage will impact its sales in the current quarter. 
  • UPS will add 2 million square feet of sorting space and more cargo aircraft to its network ahead of this year’s peak season, with forecasted demand expected to exceed capacity by roughly 5 million pieces per day. 
  • Hundreds of Mexican factory workers are getting their COVID-19 shots in California as part of a government-funded program aimed at protecting bilateral trade. 


  • The U.S. reported 70,740 new COVID-19 infections and 462 virus deaths Tuesday. 
  • Florida, Texas and Missouri currently account for 40% of surging COVID-19 cases in the U.S., mostly among unvaccinated people. Florida alone accounts for 20% of new infections, leading the nation with 73,000 infections reported last week amid spread of an emerging virus strain first identified in Colombia
  • New CDC guidance recommends fully vaccinated Americans resume wearing masks indoors in regions with low COVID-19 vaccination rates. Affected areas span the gamut of the U.S., including New York City and Los Angeles as well as rural Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Alabama, among other states. 
  • COVID-19 vaccinations in Kentucky increased by 5,000 week over week after the state’s virus positivity rate jumped to 8% alongside a tripling in hospitalizations. Officials are urging the state’s school districts to require face masks for the upcoming academic year. 
  • New Jersey’s COVID-19 transmission rate has risen to 1.5, its highest since the beginning of the pandemic, while the state reported 792 new cases and seven deaths Tuesday. 
  • Roughly 99% of this year’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Ohio were among unvaccinated people, officials say.
  • COVID-19 levels in Boston’s wastewater are increasing, sparking fears of a new virus wave throughout Massachusetts. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Hawaii have surged to their highest levels since January, with 97% of current patients unvaccinated against the virus. 
  • Alaska reported 562 new COVID-19 infections over the weekend alongside rapidly rising hospitalizations. 
  • COVID-19 cases in Vermont have risen 35% over the past week. 
  • As early as Thursday, the White House could require all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face strict protocols on testing, social distancing, mask-wearing and travel, a move increasingly followed by local governments and private employers.  
  • The U.S. State Department issued new travel advisories for Israel, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, Cuba and Kyrgyzstan following a surge of COVID-19 in the nations. Despite the guidance, the U.S. remains ahead in opening its border to travel:
Asia Remains Firm on Travel Restrictions
  • A simple eye scan could identify COVID-19 victims susceptible to long-haul symptoms. 
  • The CDC updated its guidance for schools, recommending all students, teachers and staff mask up this fall regardless of vaccination status. 
  • U.S. elementary school students ended the 2020-21 school year four to five months behind normal academic levels, highlighting remote learning’s toll on childhood education. 
  • The U.S. fell from first to fifth in Bloomberg’s rankings of national pandemic resilience.  
  • An index of U.S. consumer confidence rose to 129.1 in June, the sixth consecutive monthly gain and its highest level since the start of the pandemic.
  • Durable goods orders rose 0.8% in June, the 13th increase in the past 14 months.  
  • A record 4 million people quit their jobs in May, while a recent survey indicates 35% of workers changed jobs in the past year.  
  • 3M, Campbell Soup, Reckitt Benckiser, UPS and other early beneficiaries of the pandemic have seen results deteriorate in recent quarters with the economic reopening.  
  • Relaxed mask mandates and a resulting decline in sales have forced PPE manufacturers to lay off nearly 5,000 workers, an industry group reports. 
  • Major U.S. tech companies continued to post strong quarterly results during the pandemic:
    • Apple, on pace for its best fiscal year in company history, reported a record $21.7 billion quarterly profit led by higher sales of iPhones. 
    • Google parent Alphabet more than doubled its quarterly profit to $18.5 billion on higher demand for online delivery services and digital advertising.
    • Microsoft posted record quarterly sales after securing new customers for its booming cloud-computing business, Teams workplace software and digital advertising.
  • Electric vehicle maker Tesla posted record quarterly income, with deliveries in the first six months of the year already exceeding the total from 2019:
Tesla Beats 2019 Deliveries in First Half of 2021
  • The White House will expand a longstanding “Buy American” program for federally procured products, raising requirements for American-made components to 60% from the current 55%. 
  • U.S. home prices rose for the 12th straight month in May, climbing by 16.6% from a year earlier for the biggest annual gain since 1988. 
  • U.S. commercial property sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels.  
  • Major U.S. airlines are facing fuel shortages at some of the country’s smaller airports, forcing canceled flights or added pit stops amid a resurgence in travel. 


  • The U.K.’s prime minister is asking its residents to be cautious despite a recent drop in the country’s COVID-19 infections. The country reported 131 virus-related deaths Tuesday, the most since March, along with 23,401 new infections. Officials are also set to relax quarantine requirements for visitors from the U.S. and the EU. 
  • Germany is preparing to impose mandatory COVID-19 testing for all travelers entering the country to slow the spread of the Delta variant.  
  • Ireland will begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 12.  
  • Indonesia reported 2,069 COVID-19 fatalities for Tuesday, a record set just days before the nation plans to loosen pandemic restrictions. 
  • Indian officials say the country will meet its target of supplying more than half a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to its population by the end of July, as the nation reported 43,654 new COVID-19 cases and 640 virus deaths Tuesday. 
  • Thailand’s plan of reopening tourism-reliant Phuket earlier than the rest of the country backfired, with the region reporting 125 new COVID-19 cases the past week. The nation reported 14,150 new COVID-19 cases and 118 deaths Tuesday. 
  • Australia’s New South Wales state will remain under strict lockdowns for a fifth straight week following more than 2,000 daily infections in Sydney, a record, as the country’s South Australia and Victoria states are set to move out of lockdown Thursday. 
  • Saudi Arabia will require proof of at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose for people to enter public and private establishments. 
  • Daily COVID-19 infections in Iraq rose to a record-high 12,185 Tuesday. 
  • Roughly 90% of new COVID-19 cases in Canada are among unvaccinated people, while the country announced it has enough vaccine doses to fully inoculate every person over the age of 12.
  • The Dominican Republic has begun administering COVID-19 booster shots amid surging infections in neighboring Haiti. 
  • Argentina signed a deal for 20 million additional Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses set to be delivered later this year. 
  • The International Monetary Fund cut its 2021 economic growth forecast for emerging Asian nations by 1.1 percentage points to 7.5%.
  • Delivery Hero, a leading food delivery service, is partnering with Eco-Products to introduce the company’s Vanguard plant-based, compostable plates and clamshells to restaurants in Austria, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Qatar, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. 

Our Operations

  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim, California, Aug. 10-12! MD&M West is the largest medtech conference in the U.S. If you’re attending, please stop by Booth #4005 to meet our Healthcare experts.
  • 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.

Thank you,

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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