COVID-19 Bulletin: October 5

October 5, 2021 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

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  • The price of oil hit a seven-year high Monday after OPEC and allied oil producers stuck with a plan to cautiously raise production, even as global demand for crude oil surges. Saudi Aramco alone has seen a 500,000-bpd demand boost, more than the combined monthly output increases planned for all of OPEC, as a shortage of gas sends prices soaring in Europe and Asia and forces many businesses to switch to crude products for power. 
  • Goldman Sachs forecasts an additional 650,000 bpd of crude oil will be needed to meet demand this year, with Brent possibly reaching $90/bbl by 2022. 
  • Crude futures continued their rise in morning trading, with WTI up 2.2% at $79.36/bbl and Brent up 2.1% at $82.99/bbl. Natural gas was 7.2% higher at $6.18/MMBtu. 
  • The U.K. deployed its military to a BP storage depot Monday to help deliver fuel amid an acute shortage of truckers, now estimated to be at 100,000. Analysts point to Brexit as a major driver of the shortage:
Just 1 in 5 Think Brexit is Going Well
  • A pipelinIndia’s coal ministry has asked Coal India to boost investments in electric vehicles and charging stations as part of a plan to diversify the state-run business. 
  • Southern California’s 13-square-mile oil pipeline spill is expected to keep beaches closed for months, as aid and environmental groups work frantically to clean up and protect the affected ecosystem.
  • A group of 60 companies has pledged to make sustainable aviation fuels comprise 10% of global jet fuel supply by 2030. 
  • Our most recent list of force majeure and allocation announcements from suppliers is here.

Supply Chain

  • Wait times are stretching up to four weeks for ships to dock at some California ports, an unprecedented backlog stemming from a combination of factors including strong consumer demand, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and clogged rail yards and trucking routes. 
  • Containership leaser Seaspan has received the first vessel in its massive 70-ship order made in response to pandemic shipping disruptions.  
  • The White House is leaving in place the steep tariffs on Chinese imports first imposed under the previous administration while it seeks new trade talks with the country. 
  • The value of U.S. goods exports in the first seven months of the year hit a record $990 billion
  • Appliance makers are beginning to prioritize higher-priced product models as part of an effort to recoup rising production and shipping costs. 
  • Coca-Cola has opted to ship cargo on bulk carriers rather than containerships in the face of increasing port congestion and rising freight costs. 
  • Wisconsin-based freight carrier Marten Transport had its operating system knocked out Sunday by a cyberattack
  • Volvo’s monthly sales fell 30.2% in September from a year earlier amid production hits caused by component shortages. 
  • Marvell Technologies CEO said the global semiconductor shortage could last through 2022, with new capacity not expected to come onstream until 2023 and 2024.  
  • The book publishing industry is emerging as the latest victim of global supply chain disruptions. 
  • With rubber prices up 70% in the past year, fleet managers are scrambling to find ways to extend tire life.  
  • British meat prices are soaring due to labor shortages at slaughterhouses and butcheries, while pharmacies run low on medicines due to a shortage of truckers. 
  • Prices for commodity-grade Arabica coffee has nearly doubled in the past year, largely a result of a series of environmental disruptions in Brazil.
Coffee Is America's Favorite Drink

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 169,207 new COVID-19 infections and 2,109 new virus fatalities Monday. 
  • Total virus hospitalizations in the nation have dropped 12.7% week over week to roughly 71,325 patients.
  • Arizona became the 11th U.S. state to surpass 20,000 COVID-19 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. 
  • COVID-19 hospitalizations in Oklahoma dipped below 1,000 for the first time in eight weeks. 
  • New COVID-19 cases in New Jersey have dropped 9% from a week ago.
  • Total COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida have continued a steady decline, dropping below 5,000 Sunday. 
  • The number of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles hospitals hit a three-month low
  • COVID-19 was the leading cause of death for police officers last year, nearly doubling the number killed by gun violence and vehicle crashes combined.  
  • More than 4,000 public school employees in New York City have been placed on unpaid leave after failing to meet a deadline for COVID-19 vaccination. 
  • The CDC is encouraging Americans to host events outdoors, wear masks and use fans by open windows to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at gatherings this holiday season. 
  • Johnson & Johnson will ask U.S. federal regulators to authorize a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine this week. 
  • New research suggests Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine remains 90% effective six months after the first shot. However, BioNTech’s CEO expects a new vaccine formula to be required by the middle of next year to protect against mutated virus strains. 
  • AstraZeneca has submitted a preventative COVID-19 antibody treatment for approval from the FDA, saying the drug could be an effective alternative for people whose immune systems make vaccines ineffective. 
  • COVID-19 can have long-term detrimental effects on all five senses, not just taste and smell.  
  • The U.S. Supreme Court returned to hearing in-person oral arguments Monday for the first time since the start of the pandemic. 
  • Nearly 20% of 1,000 health care workers polled had quit their jobs during the pandemic, citing poor pay, safety concerns and burnout. 
  • With more than 200,000 COVID-19 cases reported weekly among children for the past month, a majority of parents now believe schools should have comprehensive COVID-19 mask mandates
  • JPMorgan will ban non-vaccinated employees from business travel and deduct from their pay for COVID-19 testing. 
  • Southwest Airlines became the latest U.S. airline to require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The number of remaining unvaccinated employees at United, meanwhile, has dropped significantly after the airline began making good on threats to terminate employees who did not comply with the mandate. 
  • A cooling of travel demand during the current COVID-19 surge has prompted United Airlines to reassign aircraft to cargo-only flights
  • Nine years of airline industry earnings, around $201 billion, is set to be lost due to the pandemic, top industry officials said. 
  • Hotel owners are bracing for another sluggish holiday season as the continued spread of COVID-19 cuts down on leisure travel this fall and winter. 
  • Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp shut down for more than six hours Monday, the worst outage for the Facebook-owned companies since 2008. The outage was caused by a network configuration issue and did not compromise user data, Facebook says. 
  • McDonald’s announced a new target of achieving net-zero global greenhouse emissions by 2050. 
  • Amazon unveiled a slew of new products at its latest fall product event, including an Alexa-controlled autonomous robot that can set and deliver reminders, control smart home devices and integrate with smart home security devices. 
  • GM-backed autonomous vehicle startup Cruise expects to begin putting vehicles on the road by 2023
  • Amazon- and Ford-backed electric vehicle maker Rivian announced plans to manufacture battery cells in-house, a shift from current production sourcing in South Korea. 

International Markets

  • Japan will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter restaurants and other indoor facilities in 13 prefectures starting this month. 
  • Europe’s drug regulator approved third COVID-19 booster shots for everyone over the age of 18.  
  • The government of India will pay families of COVID-19 victims $674 per death suffered. 
  • Indonesia reported just 922 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the fewest since June of 2020. 
  • Taiwan began easing pandemic restrictions after zero new cases of COVID-19 were reported for the fourth consecutive day. 
  • The U.K. began loosening international travel restrictions for 45 countries, as it reported 35,077 new infections and 33 virus fatalities Monday. 
  • Thailand began administering COVID-19 vaccines to high school students Monday. 
  • New COVID-19 cases in Mexico fell 38% in September from August, though deaths were higher. Only one of Mexico’s 32 states, Baja, remains in the “high risk” rating for COVID-19.  
  • Roughly 30% of immunocompromised people do not develop protection against COVID-19 even after getting vaccinated, a new Italian study shows. 
  • Air New Zealand will mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all international travelers beginning next year. 
  • The number of tourists in Spain doubled in August compared to a year ago to 5.19 million people, still around half of pre-pandemic levels.
  • The World Trade Organization raised its forecast for global trade growth in 2021 and 2022 to 10.8% and 4.7%, respectively, as global economic activity continues to rebound from the pandemic.  
  • A new study suggests China’s population could significantly decline in the next 45 years, with researchers thought to have severely underestimated the pace of demographic decline.
  • Nestlé Mexico inked a deal with U.K.-based Greenback Recycling Technologies to build a Mexico recycling plant capable of processing flexible plastic packaging
  • British officials stepped up calls for the nation to transition to complete clean energy production by 2035, having already committed to cutting carbon emissions 78% by that date. 

At M. Holland

  • 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.

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

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