COVID-19 Bulletin: March 15

March 15, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

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  • Oil prices fell over 5% to a two-week low on Monday amid talks of a diplomatic solution to the war in Eastern Europe and prospects of reduced demand in COVID-hit China. WTI has fallen 20% since closing at the highest price since 2008 just one week ago.
  • In mid-afternoon trading today, WTI futures were down 7.4% at $95.36/bbl, Brent was down 7.5% at $98.85/bbl and U.S. natural gas was down 1.9% at $4.57/MMBtu. Brent and WTI have logged their most volatile 30 days since June of 2020. 
  • Oil prices could dip later this week after the U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates, making dollar-denominated oil more expensive for holders of foreign currencies. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
  • Freight carloads on U.S. railroads in the category that includes fracking sand rose 36.3% in February from the year before, a sign that the U.S. drilling sector is stirring in response to soaring oil prices. 
  • The meteoric rise in the average U.S. gas price has stalled at $4.33 the past three days, as more Americans cancel travel plans and choose to commute on public transit
Daily average regular gas and diesel prices in the United States throughout the war in Ukraine (in U.S. dollars)
  • Uber imposed a gas surcharge on fares and deliveries for the next two months. 
  • The average price at which businesses lock in hedges against oil and gas price swings has gone up between 40%-50% since last year. 
  • U.S. talks to import more crude oil from Venezuela have stalled, the White House said. 
  • Volatile natural gas prices are driving up U.S. utility prices, with customers in some parts of the nation seeing power bills rise by 20% recently. 
  • The U.S. government reported a crude decrease of 1.8 million barrels last week, with stocks roughly 17% lower than at the end of February 2021. Stockpiles at Oklahoma’s Cushing hub rose for the first time this year, traders said. 
  • The U.K. reaffirmed a commitment to end coal usage by 2024
  • Booming capacity additions in the Swedish wind market could raise generation 70% by 2024, officials say. 
  • Italian energy major Eni will sell a 49% stake in its power generation unit Enipower to U.S. investment firm Sixth Street to help fund its energy transition. 
  • A giant solar and battery complex in the Australian outback is expected to meet 15% of Singapore’s energy needs via an undersea cable currently under construction. 

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 39,024 new COVID-19 infections and no virus fatalities Monday. 
  • CDC wastewater analysis suggest another bump in U.S. COVID-19 cases could be on the horizon. 
  • About 18 million children under the age of 5 are the only Americans not yet eligible for vaccination, although that could soon change.
  • U.S. demand for easy-to-use, at-home coronavirus treatments is picking up sharply
  • JPMorgan Chase is lifting a ban on hiring unvaccinated people and will scrap mandatory testing requirements next month. 
  • The U.S. Producer Price Index rose 0.8% month over month in February.  
  • Unemployment was down in most states in January, with at least 10 states reporting all-time lows in data going back to 1976. 
  • China remained the top U.S. trading partner in January, with trade rising 14% year over year on a 51% surge in Chinese imports and an 11% decline in U.S. exports. 
  • The number of self-employed workers in the U.S. stood at 10 million in February, 400,000 higher than at the beginning of the pandemic.  
  • Ford’s new “Electric University” training program will boost electric vehicle servicing capabilities in its dealer network. 

International Markets

  • More news related to the war in Europe:
    • By Sunday, over 350 companies had either suspended, halted, or restricted their Russian operations in reaction to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
Daily number of restrictive measures imposed on Russia from February 22 to March 14, 2022, by selected actor

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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