MH Daily Bulletin: April 6

April 6, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • 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 fell about 1% Tuesday on growing worries of demand slowdowns caused by rising COVID-19 cases. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.2% at $101.80/bbl, Brent was off 0.2% at $106.40/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 4.3% at $6.29/MMBtu. 
  • The American Petroleum Institute estimates U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.08 million barrels last week. 
  • The U.S. administration is exploring ways to boost oil imports from Canada by rail and expanded pipeline capacity without resurrecting the Keystone XL project nixed in 2020. 
  • Member states of the International Energy Agency are still discussing how much oil they will jointly release from storage to cool markets, with an announcement expected this week. 
  • Chevron reported a profit of $15.6 billion in 2021, its highest since 2014 and a reversal from a loss of $5.5 billion in 2020. The firm plans to increase output by at least 3% yearly through 2025. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:        
    • The EU’s proposed ban on Russian coal, which will require approval from all 27 member states, marks the first time the bloc has agreed to suspend imports of one of Russia’s main energy supplies. 
    • Daily Russian oil and gas condensate production is down 4% from March to early April, according to the Interfax news agency. 
    • Russia says it will earn $9.6 billion more in revenue from energy sales this month due to high oil prices.  
    • Greece will restart several gas exploration projects it abandoned years ago in a bid to weather supply disruptions from Russia. 
    • Nigeria, the leading crude producer in Africa, is accusing several oil majors of hamstringing efforts to boost LNG exports to Europe
    • Exxon Mobil could write down up to $4 billion in the wake of its exit from the Sakhalin-1 oil development in Russia’s Far East, which supplies 3% of the firm’s overall production. 
  • Spanish energy firm Repsol is partnering with Denmark’s Orsted to build up to 3 GW of offshore wind power in Spain by the end of the decade. 
  • India’s top refiner signed on to a joint effort that could eventually produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen by the end of the decade. 
  • Wall Street lending for oil and gas development is rising as the U.S. looks to boost output, reversing a trend that recently saw more investment given to clean-energy projects and uses. 
  • Prices for emissions credits in California’s cap-and-trade program are rising sharply as demand grows:
Prices for California’s emissions credits increase in early 2022 auction

Supply Chain

The Most Vulnerable Countries Amid Wheat Shortages
  • Canadian miner Kinross Gold agreed to sell its giant Arctic Russian mine to a unit of Fortiana Holdings for $680 million, the first public sale of an asset a large Western company is exiting in Russia. 
  • A Dominican-flagged merchant ship sank in the port of Mariupol after being hit by Russian forces. 
  • Indian wheat exports will hit a record this fiscal year as a rally in global prices gives the world’s second biggest producer an opportunity to gain market share. 
  • Russian cyberattacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure are picking up in pace. 

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 29,521 new COVID-19 infections and 477 virus fatalities Tuesday. 
  • Daily COVID-19 cases in New York City are up 30% the past month, led by surging infections with the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron. The data is consistent with signs that rising cases are more prevalent in parts of the U.S. Northeast
  • The U.S. will invest $20 million next year to develop best practices for treating long-term COVID, a condition estimated to affect nearly 7% of all U.S. adults.   
  • Nearly 60 million Americans on Medicare will be able to order up to eight free at-home COVID-19 tests per month under a new White House program. 
  • The CDC lowered pandemic travel warnings for Canada and two dozen other destinations Tuesday. 
  • An immigration dispute in the Senate blocked debate on a $10 billion pandemic relief bill.  
  • The Federal Reserve will begin rapidly reducing its balance sheet this May for the first time since 2017, officials said yesterday, a further tightening in monetary policy on top of rising interest rates. 
  • Deutsche Bank forecasts the U.S. will fall into a recession next year as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates more aggressively to combat inflation, making it among the first major banks to predict recession. Some officials at the Federal Reserve have significantly more optimism
  • At $89.19 billion, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by a modest 0.1% in February while remaining close to the previous month’s record, as fallout from rising commodity prices continued. 
  • U.S. services activity picked up in March, with the Institute for Supply Management’s index rising to 58.3 for the month, up from a one-year low of 56.5 in February. 
  • Some 22.4 million fewer immigrants than normal entered the U.S. during the pandemic, adding even more pressure to the tightest labor market in decades. 
  • The White House will likely extend through August a pause on roughly $1.6 billion in student loan repayments, a measure first imposed at the start of the pandemic. 
  • Fast food chains and airlines are among several new types of companies testing subscription programs to lock in consistent revenue streams. 
  • JetBlue Airways offered to buy ultralow-cost rival Spirit Airlines for $3.6 billion, a deal that would create one of the largest airlines in America. 
  • Amazon is positioning itself as a major competitor to SpaceX’s satellite broadband ambitions, with the e-commerce giant yesterday investing billions of dollars in launch slots for its technology over the next five years. 
  • The U.S. government will eventually need up to 100,000 electric-vehicle charging stations — up from just 1,100 currently — to support electrified federal fleets. 
  • Albuquerque’s City Council decisively reversed a ban on single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail shops. 

International Markets

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