Oil prices fell nearly 8% Thursday, the largest daily percentage loss since last summer amid new concerns about the pace of the global economic recovery. Crude futures were higher in mid-day trading today, with the WTI up 1.2% at $61.17/bbl and Brent 1.7% higher at $64.36/bbl. Natural gas was 1.8% higher at $2.53/MMBtu.
Spot rates for physical crude in Asia are dropping on lower demand from Chinese buyers.
Global oil demand is set to continue increasing until at least 2026, according to the International Energy Agency.
China’s planned investments in green energy over the next few decades could cost up to $6.4 trillion.
New Texas bills would require power plants to winterize their facilities and ban electricity providers from offering plans tied to the wholesale market, an effort to prevent repeats of last month’s energy crisis.
Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.
Ford is idling plants in Louisville, Kentucky, and Cologne, Germany, and will begin partially building F-150 trucks for final assembly later due to the global shortage of computer chips and other supply shortfalls following Winter Storm Uri.
Nissan is curtailing production at auto plants in Mississippi, Tennessee and Mexico due to a shortage of computer chips.
Honda, which yesterday announced it is suspending production at plants in the U.S. and Canada, said it also will suspend production in Mexico due to supply chain issues.
Although Nike is still selling the most sneakers globally, the company blamed port congestion and supply chain challenges for an 11% drop in North American revenues in its most recent quarter.
Officials are projecting the backup at U.S. ports, particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach, to continue into the summer. Imports at those ports surged 52% in February from the year-ago period while exports were down 15%, a historic trade imbalance.
Seaborne trade volumes are estimated to end above pre-pandemic levels in 2021, with the average price of containers expected to remain high while tanker rates are expected to remain low.
Members of the new U.S. administration and China representatives sparred at their first face-to-face meeting in Alaska yesterday, with American officials espousing continued “stiff competition” with their primary economic competitor.
The U.S. government is helping American miners and battery makers expand into Canada, part of a strategy to boost regional production of minerals used in electric vehicles and to counter Chinese dominance.
The trucking industry is coalescing in opposition to a potential miles-driven tax being floated by some lawmakers to pay for new infrastructure spending.
CSX faces an anti-trust challenge to its planned acquisition of Pan Am Railways, a regional carrier in New England.
A shortage of corrugated material is requiring some suppliers to ship in boxes that may not be stackable. Such unstackable packaging should be clearly marked. In the interest of safety, we urge clients and our fulfillment partners to notify anyone involved in logistics operations to be mindful of the shortage and careful to heed warning labels that may appear on resin containers.
Logistics conditions remain strained, with trucking demand exceeding availability and continued congestion at ports due in part to operating challenges related to the pandemic. Clients are advised to provide expanded lead times on orders to help ensure delivery dates.
There were 59,822 new COVID-19 cases and 1,611 deaths in the U.S. yesterday. Over 115 million vaccine doses have been administered, with 12% of the population fully vaccinated.
State and local governments are on the cusp of receiving $350 billion in pandemic aid as part of the recently passed $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, funds that will go toward reducing budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic.
The U.S. government has issued nearly 90 million stimulus payments worth $242 billion so far, more than half the estimated total under the latest stimulus package.
With the crash of the leisure and hospitality sector, Las Vegas suffered some of the worst unemployment rates of any major metropolitan area last year.
The U.S. dollar has risen nearly 2.5% against the currencies of major trading partners since early January, a positive sign for economic recovery that also portends higher inflation risk.
In a move that could roil credit markets, the Federal Reserve said today it will not extend a pandemic rule that eased capital requirements for banks.
Parents of children in remote classes are more likely to report poorer well-being for themselves and their kids, the CDC said.
Roughly 15% of parents of public-school students nationally have organized their children into “learning pods,” where groups of remote-learning students gather to attend online classes.
Google will spend $7 billion this year on expanding offices and data centers across the U.S., bucking the trend of other companies making permanent shifts toward remote work or reducing their real estate holdings.
Shares of two much-hyped electric vehicle startups — Nikola and Lordstown — are down roughly 50% from highs this year as a number of large investors reduced their stakes.
New research from the Independent Data Corporation shows that shipments of wearable electronics reached 445 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, a 28% increase from 2019.
Facebook unveiled two prototypes for a wearable wristband that allows the user to interact with virtual reality by moving their fingers.
Global video streaming subscriptions surpassed 1 billion worldwide last year, while box-office revenues plunged more than 70%.
Colgate-Palmolive is relaunching its most popular dish soap, Palmolive Ultra, with new biodegradable ingredients and a bottle made from 100% recycled-content PET.
The number of COVID-19 patients in French ICUs reached 4,246 yesterday, a high for 2021. The resurging virus has prompted a month-long lockdown in Paris, which will affect 42% of the economy and delay the consumer-led recovery there.
Hospitals in Italy are again postponing elective surgeries as hospitalizations soar from a third COVID-19 wave, one year after becoming the first Western nation to enter lockdown.
With Brazil experiencing record COVID-19 infections, Sao Paulo, the nation’s largest city, is pulling forward national holidays through November 2022 to create a holiday week surrounding Easter to discourage travel and circulation.
Mexico is curbing travel on its southern border with Guatemala to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is “safe and effective” and doesn’t increase the risk of blood clots, the European Union’s health agency said yesterday. Germany, France, Italy, Portugal and Spain said they would resume administering the shots, while other European nations are expected to follow.
Germans over age 80 have seen COVID-19 infection rates plummet by 80% since December, the first positive sign of the nation’s otherwise slow immunization campaign.
AstraZeneca’s and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines help protect patients from the highly infectious Brazilian variant, a study shows.
Competition for COVID-19 vaccines has left developing countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa far behind rich nations in inoculating their citizens, leaving health professionals there particularly vulnerable to infections.
More than 60% of Israelis have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, thanks to the country’s wealth, small size and competitive universal healthcare system.
The Philippines cleared Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
Greece has made its second early repayment of IMF loans worth nearly $4 billion, a positive sign after the nation’s faltering economy required three international bailouts since 2010.
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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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