MH Daily Bulletin: April 27

April 27, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is excited to be the Headline Sponsor for the upcoming Injection Molding & Design Expo in Detroit! This two-day trade show will highlight the latest technologies, materials, equipment and opportunities in injection molding. The event is May 25-26 and admission is free. Click here to learn more.
  • 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 jumped nearly 3% in a choppy session Tuesday, reversing some of the previous day’s declines.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.6% at $101.20/bbl, Brent was off 0.4% at $104.50/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 4.8% at $7.18/MMBtu. 
  • NYMEX ultra-low-sulfur diesel jumped 9.2% yesterday to $4.47 a gallon, an all-time high. 
  • U.S. crude stocks rose a larger-than-expected 4.8 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Government data will be released today. 
  • Valero Energy, the first U.S. refiner to report quarterly results, crushed market expectations on a doubling in refining margins from the same time last year.  
  • The Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which Kazakhstan uses to export most of its oil, began operating at full capacity, a month after key infrastructure was damaged by a storm. 
  • Global coal plant capacity rose 1% last year as a surge in new Chinese projects offset plant closures in the rest of the world. 
  • LNG inventories in Japan are sharply down compared to a year ago. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
  • Consulting firm McKinsey expects global oil demand to peak at about 102 million bpd within the next five years. 
  • Houston announced plans for the U.S.’s largest solar farm on a 240-acre former landfill with the capacity to power 5,000 homes by 2023. 
  • Exxon Mobil will create a new unit for biofuel and ethanol trading to lower its emissions over the next six years. 
  • Trade groups say a U.S. probe into China’s efforts to evade sanctions on solar equipment could cut installations by double-digit percentages this year and next. 

Supply Chain

  • Southern California’s water supplier declared an emergency and will require about 6 million people to cut outdoor watering to one day a week as drought continues to plague the state. 
  • New satellite images suggest port activity and construction have plummeted during China’s COVID-19 outbreak, while manufacturing inventories are piling up. 
  • Maersk container volumes declined 7% between January and March, the shipper said, while forecasts for global growth in container demand this year were lowered. 
  • Guyana is in talks with the UAE on building a new deep-water port to handle the largest commercial vessels along South America’s Caribbean coast. 
  • UPS’s U.S. volumes fell a larger-than-expected 3% last quarter while per-package revenue rose 9.4%. 
  • Kraft Heinz’s new partnership with Microsoft will see 34 new “digital twin” facilities that can model and test new supply chain processes before applying them to plant floors. 
  • A North Carolina battery startup is partnering with South Korea’s Lotte Chemical on a $200 million investment in battery-component manufacturing in the U.S. 
  • Volta Trucks, a Swedish maker of electric commercial vehicles, unveiled two new small models for urban transport to be produced by 2025. 
  • Chipotle says inflation for food, including avocados, tortillas and dairy items, will likely stretch into 2023
  • A projected 7% drop in Canada’s canola production this year will exacerbate global food shortages and further push up prices, officials warn. 

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 57,284 new COVID-19 infections and 331 virus fatalities Tuesday. Weekly infections were up 57% last week, with 42 states seeing a week-over-week rise. 
  • New antibody data suggests nearly 60% of Americans had a prior COVID-19 infection, with about half the total coming from the latest surge of Omicron. 
  • The FDA may wait to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine for children under age 5 until at least June, officials indicated. 
  • Pfizer requested authorization for its COVID-19 booster dose for children aged 5-11
  • U.S. consumer confidence fell slightly in April as concerns about inflation retreated from an all-time high but remained elevated, according to The Conference Board. 
  • Led by cars and computers, U.S. orders for durable goods rose 0.8% in March, the fifth increase over the past six months following a decline in February. Orders for capital goods rebounded unexpectedly by 1%, signaling healthy momentum. 
  • Deutsche Bank predicts the U.S. economy will fall into a “significant recession” next year as the Federal Reserve aggressively kicks up interest rates to fight inflation. 
  • A sharp increase in the number of Americans asking family and friends for loans is the latest sign that household budgets are coming under strain as prices surge. 
  • U.S. homebuilders will find it harder to raise prices in the coming months as rising mortgage rates and inflation cut into demand, according to industry consultants. New home sales fell 8.3% from February to March, new data shows. 
  • Rents in Manhattan are up more than 25% in most neighborhoods, one of the fastest rises in the country. 
  • Smaller U.S. communities remain the hottest housing markets as Americans look for affordability, more space and satisfying remote work locations.
  • Higher inflation pushed down the average real starting salary for U.S. teachers last year by 4% to $41,770, a 10-year low for a profession suffering from labor shortages. 
  • Higher wages are keeping young businesspeople in the workforce and sending MBA enrollments down sharply, school officials say. 
  • Toy maker Mattel is in talks about a potential sale of the firm just months after executives declared its corporate turnaround complete. 
  • United Airlines announced its biggest trans-Atlantic expansion in history with 30 new or resumed flights by early June, a boost of 25% over pre-pandemic levels. 
  • In the latest news from first-quarter earnings season:
    • Higher sales at Chipotle were offset by a 12% rise in the cost of food and materials. 
    • Skechers’ sales rose a surprise 27% on greater pricing power in its wholesale and direct-to-consumer business. 
    • Snack food maker Mondelez said profit rose 14% after it raised prices, with another round of price increases set for early May. 
    • Texas Instruments’ revenue rose 14% on growth in the industrial and automotive markets. 
    • Microsoft reported an 18% rise in revenue on continued strength in its cloud computing business. 
Server Products Soften Slight Drop in Microsoft's Revenues
  • Google parent Alphabet posted lower-than-expected sales growth of 23% on lower advertising activity and high costs at its cloud computing unit. 
  • 3M posted a drop in sales and profits on lower demand for face masks and ripple effects from supply shortages in auto and electronics production. 
  • Specialty glass maker Corning saw sales rise 12% and expects rising production capacity to boost earnings from optical cable and fiber. 
  • Paint and coating maker Sherwin-Williams posted a 9.5% profit decline on a 7.4% increase in sales due to higher costs for raw materials. 
  • PepsiCo revenues rose following a 10% boost in prices and higher sales volume in most markets. 
  • Profits at GM slipped 3% from a year ago on higher commodity and logistics costs. 

International Markets

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