MH Daily Bulletin: December 22

December 22, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.
  • M. Holland will be closed Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26, in observance of Christmas.


  • Oil rose almost 3% Wednesday on news of a larger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude stockpiles.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.6% at $77.86/bbl and Brent was down 0.6% at $81.67/bbl.
  • U.S. natural gas rose 4% Wednesday on expectations of higher demand in an upcoming cold snap. Futures were down 2.0% at $5.23/MMBtu today.
  • U.S. crude stocks fell by a larger-than-expected 5.89 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Inventories are 7% below the five-year average for this time of year.
  • Minnesota and New York are among states tapping federal funds to help households struggling with rising heating costs this winter.
  • TC Energy says it removed the ruptured segment of pipeline that caused an oil spill in Kansas earlier this month.
  • U.S. retail gasoline prices averaged $3.01 per gallon in 2021, the highest nominal price since 2014:
Retail gasoline prices rose across the United States in 2021 as driving increased

Supply Chain

Tesla's Market Cap Drop Is Bigger Than the Legacy Car Industry
  • U.S. self-driving truck company TuSimple announced plans to lay off 25% of its workforce, or roughly 350 employees.
  • Global investment in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure hit $28.6 billion this year, up 228% from 2021 with China seeing the largest gains.
  • Canada is floating a measure to require 20% of all new cars sold in the country to be electric by 2026 and 100% by 2035. Electric vehicles comprised just 7.2% of Canadian car sales in the first six months of this year.
  • Hyundai plans to unveil some 17 new electric vehicles by 2030 as it aims to surpass Toyota and Volkswagen as the world’s largest automaker.
  • Colorado-based Solid Power is easing some intellectual property rights to allow BMW to start making electric-vehicle batteries at the automaker’s facilities in Germany.
  • Indonesia could allocate as much as $320 million from next year’s budget to incentivize electric-vehicle purchases.
  • GM’s Cruise unit has branched out from San Francisco to start offering limited self-driving taxi rides in Phoenix and Austin.
  • Israeli startup AIR ran the first unmanned test of its flying commuter taxi this week, with plans to bring the vehicle to market within two years.

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 170,205 new COVID-19 infections and 1,024 virus fatalities Wednesday.
  • The Conference Board’s index of U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to an eight-month high in December, buoyed by easing inflation and falling gasoline prices.
  • Initial jobless claims rose last week by a less-than-expected 2,000 to 216,000, while the government raised its estimate of third-quarter GDP growth from 2.9% to 3.2%. 
  • The U.S. current account deficit narrowed 9.1% to $217.1 billion in the third quarter as exports jumped to a record high.
United States Current Account
  • Shopper visits to many retail segments, including apparel and electronics, are down this holiday season, according to foot-traffic analyses.
  • Year-over-year credit card balances jumped 15% last quarter, the biggest increase in over two decades. High interest rates are hitting new borrowers especially hard, with around 20% of 18-to-20-year-olds in collections. 
  • Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell for a 10th straight month in November by 7.7%, extending a record decline to a 2.5-year low.

International Markets

Canada Inflation Rate
  • Visitor arrivals to Japan jumped to two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels in November, the first full month after the country scrapped two years of COVID-19 travel curbs.
  • Airbus executives shared broad goals to deepen the plane-maker’s industrial presence in India, home of the world’s fastest growing airline market.
  • Japan-based SMBC Aviation Capital completed its $6.7 billion purchase of rival Goshawk Aviation in a deal that creates the world’s second largest aircraft lessor by number of aircraft.
  • Kirin Holdings, Japan’s second largest brewer by sales, plans to buy more factories in North America amid double-digit sales increases there since 2020.
  • Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 22% from 2008 levels in 2021, new data shows, led by declines in the mining and utility industries. 

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