MH Daily Bulletin: August 12

August 12, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland Company has appointed Ton Koenders as the company’s inaugural director of sales for Europe to support international growth and address customer needs in Europe. Click here to read the press release.
  • The EU enacted the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation to protect human health and the environment from the effects of chemicals. Click here to learn more about what REACH compliance means for the plastics industry.
  • 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

  • The IEA raised its forecast for oil demand growth this year as high gas prices prompt more countries to switch to oil as a fuel source. Oil prices gained over 2% Thursday on the news.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 2.2% at $92.29/bbl and Brent was down 1.7% at $97.91/bbl. Still, oil is on track for its biggest weekly gain in four months.
  • U.S. natural gas futures jumped 8% Thursday on a drop in gas output and forecasts for higher demand over the next two weeks. In mid-morning trading today, prices were down 0.4% at $8.84/MMBtu.
  • The average U.S. gasoline price fell for the 58th consecutive day to under $4 a gallon Thursday, the lowest since March.
Falling Gas Prices Offer Pain Relief at the Pump

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

United States Initial Jobless Claims
  • July’s cooler U.S. inflation reading may spur the Federal Reserve to slow its interest-rate increase to 50 basis points at its September meeting, officials indicated. 
Where Americans Plan to Cut Back in Face of Inflation
  • Airlines have canceled thousands of flights over the past two days due to a severe storm system in Texas.
  • The median price for a U.S. home surpassed $400,000 for the first time ever, while the average mortgage bill jumped to $1,841 in the second quarter, up 32% from the first quarter.
  • The average U.S. mortgage rate rose this week, jumping from 4.99% to 5.22%.
  • North American hotel prices are expected to rise an average of 22% this year compared to 2021, followed by an additional 11% rise in 2023.
  • Walgreens is offering signing bonuses of up to $75,000 for pharmacists in some markets as the company struggles to remedy a chronic worker shortage.
  • Luxury companies, including Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton and Canada Goose, have seen little to no impact from rising inflation as demand from higher-income customers continues to surge.
  • JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, posted a 10% drop in quarterly profits driven by a shortage of cattle from the U.S., where drought conditions have forced ranchers to reduce their herds. 
  • Johnson & Johnson will stop selling baby powder made with talc in 2023, citing a decline in customer demand amid safety concerns. 
  • Wayfair’s business declined at a sharp pace in the second quarter as the online furniture seller struggled to maintain consumer interest.

International Markets

  • China reported a three-month high of 1,993 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, mostly concentrated in the locked-down tourist spot of Hainan Island.
  • Russia posted 25,815 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, its highest tally since March.
  • Hong Kong saw its steepest population drop in six decades in the year to June 30, largely a result of its ultra-strict COVID-19 restrictions. Economists say the island’s economy will remain flat this year amid gathering economic headwinds.
  • The U.K. economy shrank by 0.1% in the second quarter for the first time since early in the pandemic, driven by a decline in household spending and manufacturing.
  • The Bank of Mexico hiked its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to a record 8.5% Thursday, mirroring the U.S. Federal Reserve’s most recent policy decision. 
  • Argentina’s central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 950 basis points Thursday as the country struggles to tamp down spiraling inflation that hit a 20-year high of 71% in July.
  • Rising global food prices and shortages of grain and fertilizer stemming from the war in Ukraine could spur further economic turmoil and social unrest, analysts say. 
  • The global population is set to cross 8 billion within weeks as experts raise warnings that it may be near a peak.
  • McDonald’s said it plans to reopen restaurants in Ukraine over the next few months in an early sign of Western businesses returning to the country, even as the conflict with Russia continues. 
  • Five of China’s largest state-owned companies, including PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., announced plans to delist from U.S. exchanges as the two countries struggle to come to an agreement allowing American regulators to inspect audits of Chinese businesses.
  • Roughly 9% of pre-sold housing in China the past two years risks delayed completion due to financial troubles among developers, affecting some 2.4 million households, Bank of America said. The nation’s deflating property bubble could imperil its economic growth for years, economists say.
  • French vaccine-maker Valneva cuts its full-year revenue outlook, citing lower demand for its COVID-19 shot from EU member states. 

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