COVID-19 Bulletin: March 4

March 4, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

More news relevant to the plastics industry:

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Supply

  • War in Eastern Europe continues to impact global energy markets:
    • War in Eastern Europe continues to impact global energy markets:Oil futures settled 2% lower in volatile trading on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that Iranian oil could soon help replace disrupted supplies from Russia. 
    • In late-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 4.0% at $111.70/bbl, Brent was up 3.6% at $114.40/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was 3.8% higher at $4.90/MMBtu. 
Crude Oil WTI
U.S. Gas Prices Climb Towards Record High

Supply Chain

Wheat

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 52,292 new COVID-19 infections and 1,743 virus fatalities Thursday.
  • New York City will drop proof-of-vaccination requirements for restaurants, gyms and entertainment venues Monday. 
  • Los Angeles CountyPhiladelphia and New Orleans dropped their indoor mask mandates.
  • Apple will drop mask mandates for most employees today. 
  • The National Football League and its union agreed to drop all COVID-19 protocols.  
  • Expired COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles are building in states where demand for shots is low. 
  • COVID-19 has led to a rapidly expanding market for self-diagnostic medical products
  • The economy created a better-than-expected 678,000 jobs last month as the unemployment rate fell to 3.8%. 
  • U.S. worker productivity rebounded 6.6% year over year last quarter, curbing some growth in the cost of labor. 
  • The chairman of the Federal Reserve told lawmakers Thursday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was likely to push up U.S. inflation.
  • The median U.S. home listing hit a record $392,000 in February, up 12.9% year over year and 26.6% compared to February 2020. 
  • Despite higher gas prices and surging hotel room rates, roughly 40% of Americans have plans to travel this year over spring break, up from 29% who traveled last year. 
  • Grocery retailer Kroger continued a streak of strong sales and profits last quarter as U.S. consumers continue eating more at home. 
  • Best Buy’s quarterly earnings fell below market expectations as supply chain disruptions shrank inventories. The retailer expects revenue to dip further this year before rebounding almost 10% by 2024.  
  • Shortages of Nike products damaged Foot Locker’s earnings last quarter, causing shares to drop as much as 30% late last week. 
  • Amazon-backed electric-vehicle startup Rivian apologized and walked back a 20% price increase on existing pre-orders imposed earlier this week. 
  • Google is developing radar technology that can sense a person’s movements and control their digital devices accordingly. 

International Markets

  • More news related to the war in Europe:
  • Average COVID-19 cases across the globe are down to about 1.5 million per day, a 27% decline from two weeks ago. 
  • New Zealand’s worst-ever COVID-19 wave is raging, with a record 23,194 new cases reported Thursday in the island nation of just over 5 million. 
  • Hong Kong reported a record 56,827 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, as public transit systems began cutting more services. 
  • Western Australia opened its borders Thursday for the first time in 697 days, ending one of the world’s longest border closures linked to COVID-19. 
  • Nations reopening to tourism are frustrated by China’s effective lockdown of citizens to cross-border travel, which costs the industry nearly $280 billion annually.  
  • South Korean consumer prices rose 3.7% in February, a near-decade high. 
  • Kia announced new goals to have 14 fully electric models by 2027 and sales of 1.2 million electric vehicles per year by the end of the decade. 

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.

For all COVID-19 updates and notices, please refer to the M. Holland website.

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