MH Daily Bulletin: April 22

April 22, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • Oil prices rose about 1.5% Thursday on more rumors of an impending EU embargo on Russian oil. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 1.9% at $101.80/bbl, Brent was down 1.9% at $106.20/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 4.0% at $6.68/MMBtu. 
  • 10-year LNG contracts are 75% higher than the same time last year as suppliers warn of long-term market tightness. 
  • High U.S. gasoline prices are having little effect on demand in California, the nation’s most populous state. The national average for a gallon of gas hit $4.12 yesterday, up from $2.88 last year. 
Daily average regular gas and diesel prices in the United States throughout the war in Ukraine (in U.S. dollars)
Nearly all new U.S. crude oil and natural gas wells are horizontal or directional
  • The U.S.’s largest oil industry trade group is working on a carbon tax proposal that would likely make consumers pay more for gasoline and other fuels, a sharp turnabout from a decade ago when the group helped kill a similar plan. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
    • Oil prices saw downward pressure Thursday after the U.S. Treasury Secretary said the EU needs to be careful about the global economic impacts of a complete ban of Russian energy imports. 
    • New estimates suggest Russia’s oil production is down 10% since late February and will fall 1.5 million barrels this month. 
    • Millions of barrels of Russian oil are being loaded onto tankers marked “destination unknown,” up from none in late February, as the heavily sanctioned market becomes increasingly opaque. 
    • Ukraine is lobbying Western allies to transit more Russian gas on its own pipelines, potentially giving the nation leverage in its conflict with Moscow.
    • European consumers should make everyday adjustments to cut back on energy use and help the continent use less Russian energy, the IEA said Thursday. 
    • Germany’s top power producer is looking to replace Russian supplies with greater LNG shipments from the U.S. and Qatar. Other European nations are turning toward Africa, with Algeria and Nigeria already making up 21% of the continent’s imports last year:
Can Africa Offer an Alternative to Russian Gas?

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

International Markets

  • New COVID-19 cases in Italy more than tripled yesterday from the day before to nearly 100,000
  • Some hospitals in Canada’s most populous provinces are canceling or postponing medical procedures in the face of another wave of COVID-19 patients. 
  • Shanghai authorities said they would step up enforcement of lockdowns after 11 COVID-19 deaths were reported Saturday, the most of its recent wave. 
  • The World Health Organization made calls Thursday for the global public to continue wearing masks even when not required, citing their high effectiveness at reducing viral transmission. The group also endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral pill as one of the most effective treatments for high-risk people. 
  • Portugal ended its mask mandate for most indoor public spaces yesterday, while New Delhi reimposed the requirement.  
    • More news related to the war in Europe:
    • Purchasing manager surveys indicate the global economy is slowing in the face of the war in Ukraine and COVID-19 lockdowns in China.  
    • The U.S. added another $1.3 billion in aid for Ukraine yesterday, bringing its total to more than $3.7 billion. 
    • The U.S. is planning to crack down on Russian firms that use cryptocurrencies to evade Western sanctions. 
    • Carlsberg, the Western brewer with the largest exposure to the Russian market, expects a write down of nearly $1.4 billion upon its exit from the nation. 
    • AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, will take a $1.1 billion impairment charge as it exits Russia, joining Heineken and Carlsberg in withdrawing from the country.  
  • South Korea’s exports jumped nearly 17% so far this month on a surge of shipments to the U.S. Overall, the nation’s economy likely slowed sharply last quarter during its worst COVID-19 wave of the pandemic, economists say. 
  • British consumer confidence fell for a fifth straight month in April to the lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis. 
  • Industrial conglomerate Toshiba put itself up for sale to private equity Thursday after shareholders rejected a plan to split the firm in two last month. 

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