MH Daily Bulletin: April 21

April 21, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • In a rare day of market calm, oil prices settled nearly unchanged Wednesday. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 3.0% at $105.20/bbl, Brent was up 2.6% at $109.60/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 0.9% at $7.00/MMBtu.
  • U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 8 million barrels last week on the highest export volumes in over two years. Domestic production rose to 11.9 million bpd, the highest since May 2020. 
  • The U.S. will likely surpass Australia and Qatar to become the world’s top LNG exporter this year, according to the Energy Information Administration: 
Liquefied natural gas exports continue to lead growth in U.S. natural gas exports
  • Libyan output losses now total 550,000 bpd, as a wave of political protests continues to block the nation’s oilfields and ports. 
  • Over $1.3 trillion must be invested in boosting global energy output to avoid a 2030 scenario where demand massively outstrips supply, JPMorgan Chase forecasts. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
Difference between Urals and and Brent oil price from December 31, 2021 to April 20, 2022 (in U.S. dollars per barrel)
  • Italian lawmakers imposed a new set of cooling and heating limitations for public offices and buildings to use less electricity. 
  • Emerging economies, including Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia and Peru, face rising blackouts as inflationary pressures slash into government budgets for energy. 
  • Exxon Mobil expects the carbon capture and storage market to reach $4 trillion by 2050, over half the $6.5 trillion market projected for oil and gas. 
  • The U.S. government permitted 10 solar and two geothermal projects on public lands last year, with total capacity under construction up 35% from 2020. 
  • Low-producing U.S. oil wells could be the source of the industry’s largest methane emissions, new research suggests. 
  • Japan’s JGC Holdings and Kawasaki Kisen plan to turn old LNG tankers into floating offshore LNG production bases
  • Danish lawmakers proposed a carbon tax on corporations to fund ambitious climate targets, including building the nation’s largest wind farm off the port of Thorsminde. 
  • One of Indonesia’s largest coal miners plans to use a fortune made on high commodity prices to invest in renewable projects, mostly solar farms. 
  • Amazon aims to purchase 3.5 GW of new green energy, mostly from solar farms, part of a plan to source all its power from renewables by 2025. 

Supply Chain

  • Cargo transport into Shanghai, one of the world’s busiest manufacturing hubs and ports, has ground to a near halt, with truckers particularly impacted by strict COVID-19 rules and their arbitrary enforcement. 
  • Arizona declared a state of emergency as the Tunnel wildfire near Flagstaff spread to nearly 20,000 acres, forcing the evacuation of 2,000 people on Tuesday. 
  • Chinese marine fuel exports fell 15% in March as shipping firms canceled calls at the nation’s ports and discouraged international vessels from refueling there. 
  • Rail congestion is forcing more intermodal cargo to transport by truck, according to J.B. Hunt, which experienced a 7% rise in intermodal volume last quarter.
  • Passenger car registrations in Europe slumped 19% in March, an industry group said, marking the ninth consecutive monthly production decline amid supply disruption from Eastern Europe. 
  • More than half of U.S. building material suppliers said March inventories were back to pre-pandemic levels, suggesting the soaring cost of construction could soon ease. 
  • Cargo aircraft orders are growing on expectations that airfreight expansion will stay strong over the long term. 
  • Bed Bath & Beyond said supply chain delays cost the retailer $175 million in lost sales in the first quarter. 
  • Organic growth at Nestle reached 7.6% in the first quarter as shoppers shrugged off higher prices for consumer goods. 
  • The U.S. administration is making over $6 billion of last year’s infrastructure dollars available to local projects aimed at carbon reduction.   
  • European developers announced plans for a $1.08 billion complex to produce green hydrogen and ammonia in Sines, Portugal, home to the nation’s largest deep-water port. 
  • Shopify is holding talks for a $2 billion purchase of California-based Deliverr, a firm that relies on predictive analytics to position items in its warehousing network for fast delivery. 
  • McDonald’s is testing an electric Class 8 truck for deliveries to its outlets in the Montreal area. 

Domestic Markets

Is 9 to 5 working in 2022?
  • First-time unemployment claims fell by 2,000 last week to 184,000. The number of Americans collecting unemployment fell to the lowest level in over half a century. 
  • U.S. employers posted 1.1 million tech jobs in the first quarter, up 43% from a year earlier as the pressure to attract talent spurs massive wage increases. 
  • The median U.S. home price hit a record $375,300 in March, up 15% from the same time last year. Rental prices, meanwhile, are surging by double-digit percentages in Portland, Austin and New York City. 
  • An index of U.S. homebuilder confidence is down 2 points so far in April, on track for the fourth straight month of decline. 
  • The average growth rate of U.S. auto loans hit 13% in the first quarter, roughly the same as the fourth quarter’s blistering pace and more than double the pace of overall loan growth across U.S. banks. 
  • Carvana posted its first ever decline in quarterly sales yesterday while inflationary headwinds prompted the online seller to scrap its financial guidance for the year. 
  • Bookings for domestic flights in peak summer travel months surpassed pre-pandemic levels by 1%, new data shows. 
  • United Airlines posted a surprise $1.38 billion loss in the first quarter but expects to return a full-year profit for the first time of the pandemic on surging bookings and rising revenue per seat. 
  • Tesla posted a sevenfold increase in first-quarter profit and said 2022 production would rise 60% from last year to more than 1.5 million vehicles. 
  • Netflix stock tumbled an additional 35% Wednesday as the fallout from disappointing subscriber declines continues. 
Netflix's Streak Ends After a Decade of Unwavering Growth
  • Workers at an Apple store in Atlanta yesterday filed for a union election in a bid to become the tech giant’s first unionized retail employees. 

International Markets

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