COVID-19 Bulletin: May 14

May 14, 2021 • Posted in Daily Bulletin


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  • Oil prices slid more than 3% yesterday on news of the Colonial Pipeline reopening and concerns about the COVID-19 surge in India. Crude futures were higher in mid-day trading today, with WTI up 2.1% at $65.14/bbl and Brent up 2.1% at $68.47/bbl. Natural gas was 0.8% lower at $2.95/MMBtu.
  • The Colonial Pipeline resumed operation following a six-day shutdown, but a gas shortage across the southeastern United States is expected to linger for several days.
    • Colonial Pipeline paid a $5 million ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency to Eastern European hackers to get its system back online. 
    • The White House granted a second waiver from the Jones Act, allowing a foreign shipper to move fuels among U.S. ports to help fill a supply gap. 
    • Gasoline demand is up by more than 11% week-to-date, with the average price for a gallon of gas now at $3.02, up $0.08 from last week. 
The Evolution Of U.S. Gasoline Prices
  • The White House is urging Americans not to “panic buy” gas in the wake of the attack while also warning gas stations not to price gouge. 
  • China will start taxing imports of light-cycle oil, mixed aromatics and diluted bitumen as the nation increases its scrutiny of high-emission fuels. 
  • Goldman Sachs cut its ratings on Dow, Huntsman and LyondellBasell on concerns that petrochemicals margins have peaked.
  • JPMorgan, the world’s largest financier of fossil fuel companies, is pledging to cut “operational carbon intensity” by 35% from its portfolio by 2030. 
  • BP is partnering with global building supply leader CEMEX to develop net-zero carbon cement
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here. 

Supply Chain

  • COVID-19 disruptions at major ports in India threaten to have global reverberations for the shipping industry.  
  • American semiconductor companies have teamed up with large U.S. businesses to form the Semiconductors in America Coalition, part of an effort to get Congress to provide $50 billion for semiconductor research and manufacturing. 
  • U.S. car dealers had fewer than 2 million vehicles on the ground or in route to stores at the end of April, roughly half the normal number and the lowest level in more than three decades as the global chip shortage hurts supply. 
  • Lost auto sales from the chip shortage could be as high as $110 billion, caused by a production hit of nearly 4 million vehicles across the globe.
  • South Korea plans to invest $450 billion into its semiconductor industry over the next decade, joining China and the U.S. in a global race to dominate the market. 
  • More than 770 barges containing oil and dry products were backed up on the Mississippi River after a crack was discovered in a bridge. Officials hope to restore the movement of river traffic within 48 hours
  • Canadian National Railway’s $30 billion takeover proposal has taken the lead in a race to acquire Kansas City Southern (KCS), a price that includes a nearly $700 million breakup fee that KCS would owe a rival bidder for walking away from an existing agreement. 
  • PayPal announced plans to acquire returns solution provider Happy Returns, providing online shoppers a way to return unwanted goods without needing to package and ship the items themselves. 
  • Seventy percent of California is officially under drought conditions
  • 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.



Our Operations

  • 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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