MH Daily Bulletin: April 11

April 11, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland will be closed on Friday, April 15, in observance of the Easter holiday. The MH Daily Bulletin will not be published that day.
  • M. Holland has launched a new Healthcare Packaging line card to meet the product needs of medical device and pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers.
  • M. Holland’s Color & Compounding experts shared insight on the current pigment shortage and how it’s impacting the industry.
  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim, California, from April 12-14. MD&M West is the largest medtech conference in the U.S. If you’re attending, please stop by Booth #4111 to meet our Healthcare experts!
  • In case you missed it, watch M. Holland’s Plastics Reflections webinar about the current and future state of the North American plastics industry. Click here to access the recording.
  • 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.

Supply

  • Oil prices rose 2% Friday but ended the week about 1% lower, their second straight weekly decline. For several weeks, the benchmarks have been the most volatile since the beginning of the pandemic. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 3.9% at $67.40/bbl, Brent was down 4.0% at $98.64/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 4.5% at $6.56/MMBtu. 
  • U.S. producers added 13 oil rigs last week, the third straight week of gains, with the count 59% higher than the same time last year. 
  • U.S. crude reserves will fall to a four-decade low after the latest release of 120 million barrels is completed. 
  • U.S. gasoline prices were 20% higher in March than in February. 
  • Natural gas prices at the U.S.’s main trading hub are up 64% this year, the highest since 2008, with surging foreign demand likely to keep exports strong for years. 
  • Pennsylvania-based Talen Energy is expected to file for bankruptcy within weeks after struggling with added hedging costs from rising natural gas prices. 
  • The Mexican administration’s efforts to nationalize the nation’s energy industry got a significant boost from a court ruling last week. 
  • U.S. nuclear electricity generation declined in 2021 for the second consecutive year as more reactors were retired:
U.S. nuclear electricity generation continues to decline as more reactors retire

Supply Chain

  • Power was restored to more than 90% of Puerto Ricans on Saturday following a fire last week at a major power plant. 
  • More Chinese cities are requiring truck drivers to take daily COVID-19 tests or quarantine before crossing borders, limiting how quickly components can be moved among factories and from plants to ports. 
  • Congestion at China’s ports are growing exponentially amid the lockdowns in Shanghai, with 222 bulk cargo ships waiting off the city’s coast, and 477 vessels waiting throughout the country. 
  • Shipping lines continue to cancel sailings to Shanghai because of disruptions from COVID-19 lockdowns. 
  • Just 7% of sea shipments from Asia to North America and 6% from Asia to Europe arrived on time last month, according to eeSea data. 
  • Global container shipping rates have fallen to levels not seen since last summer:
Global container freight rate index from January 2019 to March 2022 (in U.S. dollars)
  • Bad weather, Easter demand and closed ferry routes have caused congestion at the U.K.’s busiest port at Dover, including delays of more than 24 hours to cross the English Channel. 
  • Canadian construction firm Aecon was awarded a $170 million contract to modernize cargo facilities in the Caribbean port of Saint Vincent and Grenadines. 
  • The latest Logistics Managers’ Index advanced for a third straight month to 76.2 in March, an all-time high, as U.S. supply chains face more pressure from scarce warehouse space and high inventory costs. 
  • Trucking contractors and ride-share drivers are looking for greater compensation to help offset surging fuel costs. 
  • The White House unveiled a range of programs last week intended to recruit more workers, including veterans and women, to the trucking industry. 
  • Over 10% of Americans in lower-paying jobs in warehouses, manufacturing and hospitality have switched to so-called “new collar” tech positions during the pandemic
  • Some Americans are pushing back against a warehouse boom they say disrupts communities with industrial traffic and pollution, as companies have added a record 1.6 billion square feet of new industrial space across the country since 2017. 
  • Despite the global chip shortage, sales of graphic processing units rose almost 30% in 2021 from a year ago. 
  • Auto sales in China fell by more than 10% in March to 1.58 million vehicles as the nation’s strict pandemic measures hampered both auto production and consumer purchases. 
  • Chinese electric-vehicle maker Nio suspended production and warned of delivery delays as local lockdowns take a toll on supply chains.  
  • With chip shortages still affecting output, British car sales fell 14% in March to the lowest level in two decades. 
  • Volvo is investing in Swiss materials startup Bcomp, a maker of natural fiber composites. 
  • Large logistics firms remain wary of placing big bets on autonomous trucks despite the urgency of an estimated 80,000-driver shortage. 
  • Hyundai’s hydrogen-fueled heavy truck is making inroads with European logistics operators. 
  • Google’s drone unit Wing launched its newest and largest delivery service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last Thursday, which will transport everything from Walgreens medicines to local ice cream. 
  • U.S. egg prices are rising as an outbreak of Avian flu spreads to farms in 24 states. 
  • U.S. online grocery sales are falling sharply from pandemic highs, with the ship-to-home segment seeing the largest drop of 30% in March from a year ago. 
Majority of Chinese Use Grocery Delivery
  • More supply chain news related to the war in Europe:
    • The EU’s latest round of sanctions will slash 10% of Russian imports, including coal, wood and chemicals, officials say. 
    • A United Nations gauge of global good prices rose 13% in March to a fresh record as the war in Ukraine chokes crop supplies. Acute hunger across the globe could spread to affect as many as 47 million more people if war is prolonged, officials say. 
    • Unlike many western companies that closed operations in Ukraine at the start of the war, German auto maker Leoni AG remains open with defiant employees continuing to show up for work between Russian attacks.  

Domestic Markets

International Markets

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