COVID-19 Bulletin: May 18

May 18, 2021 • Posted in Daily Bulletin


More news relevant to the plastics industry:

Some sources linked are subscription services.


  • Oil prices were lower in mid-day trading, with the WTI down 1.6% at $65.19/bbl and Brent down 1.5% at $68.44/bbl. Natural gas was down 2.7% at $3.03/MMBtu. 
  • Torrential rain and flash flooding struck the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coast yesterday where many communities are still recovering from last year’s hurricanes.  
  • Despite Colonial Pipeline going back online over the weekend, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. jumped to a seven-year high yesterday, hitting $3.05, with multiple southeastern cities and states reporting dry gas stations on Monday:
  • The International Energy Agency says investment in new fossil fuel supply projects must immediately cease if countries want to cut net carbon emissions to zero by 2050. 
  • A Mexican judge blocked several provisions of a new hydrocarbon law aimed to strengthen the country’s state-owned oil company. 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a setback to Baltimore in its lawsuit against 20 oil and gas companies alleging they misled the public about the environmental risks of their products.  
  • After quitting the EU’s carbon market at the end of last year under Brexit, the U.K. is creating its own market for trading fossil fuel emission permits this week. 
  • The EU announced plans to tighten its rules on ship recycling and decommissioning offshore oil and gas sites in its pursuit of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 
  • BASF will host a press briefing Friday to discuss its plans to team with Germany’s top utility company to cut its greenhouse emissions by a quarter by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here. 

Supply Chain

  • The ongoing chip shortage is forcing Ford to temporarily scale back output of F-150 pickup trucks, with production at its Dearborn, Michigan, plant falling to one day per week starting May 24, while its Kansas City plant will be completely idled. 
  • Taiwan’s government gave assurance that its economic recovery and semiconductor industry will not be disrupted by the current coronavirus spike in the country.
  • Some ports in India are seeing severe slowdowns in activity due to the ongoing effect of the country’s COVID-19 crisis. 
  • Ports on the U.S. West Coast are making progress in clearing a backlog of arriving cargo ahead of peak season, with 19 container ships awaiting berths in Los Angeles and Long Beach, down from 21 a week earlier. 
  • Lumber prices are down for the sixth straight day despite continuing supply chain challenges. Despite the 85% price increase so far this year, lumber companies are in no hurry to add new sawmills. 
  • Increased development of offshore wind energy and other renewables is set to boost the price of copper to new all-time highs. 
  • U.S. rail regulators have halted Canada National Railway’s request to form a voting trust to acquire Kansas City Southern, citing fears that the merger could be anticompetitive.
  • E-commerce home goods retailer Wayfair announced plans to scale up its logistics and freight forwarding operations across Asia and Europe to ease supply chain bottlenecks and enhance supplier experience.
  • 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.

Stay informed with industry trends and insights.