Crude prices rallied to a fourth straight week of gains last week, regaining ground Friday after Thursday’s dip over inflation concerns and a stronger-than-expected U.S. dollar.
Natural gas futures ended Friday at $3.215/MMBtu, nearly double the same time last year as the summer air-conditioning season begins. U.S. gas demand last week rose for the fourth straight week to a new pandemic high.
Crude prices were higher in mid-day trading this morning, with the WTI up 2.9% to $73.69/bbl and Brent up 1.9% to $74.87/bbl, while natural gas was off 1.3% to $3.17/MMBtu.
Amid increasing U.S. oil demand, West Texas Intermediate could reach the same price as global benchmark Brent crude for the first time in five years.
Industry experts told OPEC to expect limited U.S. oil output growth for the remainder of the year, while forecasting a strong rise in shale output for 2022.
The number of active U.S. oil and gas rigs increased by 9 last week, bringing the total number in operation to 470, up by 204 compared to this time last year, with 100 additional rigs opened already in 2021.
An international consortium led by U.S. firm EIG will acquire a 49% stake in Saudi Aramco’s pipelines, as the world’s largest oil producer makes more moves to raise cash to maintain investor dividends.
China is launching a probe into its soaring coal prices, pledging to crack down on supply hoarders after the average price for the commodity hit a record high last month.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
Power operators in Texas and California warned that rolling blackouts could be needed if residents did not conserve energy during evening peak-demand hours as an intense heat wave gripped the region. The U.S. Southwest’s extreme heat continued into Friday, while some coastal areas began to cool down over the weekend.
A substantial drop in water levels at California’s second largest reservoir is likely to force the closure of a hydroelectric power plant in Northern California for the first time in its 50-year history.
U.S. tropical depression Claudette killed at least 13 people in Alabama after dropping large amounts of rain in much of the deep south, causing flash flooding that stretched into Georgia and the Carolinas Sunday. The storm is now expected to travel up the Atlantic coast, hitting the eastern U.S. and parts of Canada before dissipating Tuesday.
Experts expect this year’s hurricane season in the U.S. to be more active than average.
Four years after Hurricane Maria, frustration is mounting over Puerto Rico’s still-fragile power supply after two outages last week left more than a million people in darkness.
Canadian electricity provider Just Energy Group hopes to recover $100 million from Texas under a new bill that covers certain costs from February’s extreme winter storm. The company was forced to seek protection from creditors as prices in electricity markets soared during the crisis.
Subaru will shut down production at its plants in Gunma, Japan, in July due to the global semiconductor shortage.
Germany’s southern state of Bavaria is holding talks with Intel about building a chip factory to help counter supply chain issues caused by the semiconductor shortage.
Commodities are seeing their worst week since the start of the pandemic, with both gold and copper posting significant declines.
The U.S. Senate approved a $250 billion bill to increase government spending on research aimed to boost the domestic supply of minerals essential for growing technologies such as electric vehicles, satellites and wind turbines.
The White House’s $75 billion plan to increase passenger travel on existing U.S. freight rail lines is facing heavy opposition from the nation’s seven major freight carriers.
Cathay Pacific Airways operated 24% more freighter flights and 18% more cargo-only passenger flights in May compared to one month prior.
Our logistics team reports that bulk trucking firms are refusing to book long-haul, out of network loads due to extreme capacity constraints.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports primarily due to increased volume of ships and containers. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
The U.S. reported 8,520 new COVID-19 cases and 170 deaths on Saturday and just 3,892 cases and 83 deaths yesterday.
The highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up more than 10% of new infections in the U.S., overwhelmingly in unvaccinated people.
Plagued with production problems, Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, once seen as a potential breakthrough in helping the U.S. combat the virus, now accounts for less than 4% of total vaccines administered.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is hoping that a change in the way it assesses student debt will help qualify more lower-income workers for federal government-backed mortgages.
The number of U.S. homes for sale increased 6.7% in early June compared to the same time last month, providing a slight easing in the tight housing market, where inventory remains 38% below the same time last year. Half of home buyers who used mortgages in April put at least 20% down, a record, as would-be buyers with insufficient cash reserves are locked out of the market.
Boeing’s largest 737 MAX 10 model took its maiden flight on Friday, furthering the company’s recovery from the 20-month safety groundings over two crashes of its smaller 737 MAX model.
A Reuters poll of medical experts expects India to get hit with a third wave of COVID-19 infections by October, with the virus remaining a health threat for at least another year. The country reported 53,449 new infections and 1,427 deaths Sunday.
The World Health Organization is warning that the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 is quickly becoming the globally dominant variant of the disease.
COVID-19 vaccinations in previously lagging Asian nations have picked up in recent weeks, accounting for roughly three-quarters of new shots administered globally.
Brazil passed half a million total COVID-19 deaths Saturday. With only 11% of its population vaccinated, the hard-hit nation faces a prolonged outbreak as winter arrives in the southern hemisphere.
Despite ready access to vaccines, COVID-19 infections in Russia are surging, with only one-eighth of the population vaccinated against the virus. The highly transmissible Delta variant accounts for over 89% of new COVID-19 cases in Moscow, where daily infections hit an all-time high Friday.
A Brussels court is ordering AstraZeneca to deliver roughly 10 million more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the EU after the bloc filed a lawsuit against the company for failing to meet its contract obligation.
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.
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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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