MH Daily Bulletin: December 29

December 29, 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 Monday, Jan. 2 for the New Year’s holiday.


  • Oil fell about 1% Wednesday on news of persistently rising COVID-19 cases in China.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 2.0% at $77.39/bbl, Brent was down 1.5% at $82.04/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 4.1% at $4.49/MMBtu.
  • U.S. crude stocks fell by 1.3 million barrels last week, adding to a decline of 3 million barrels the previous week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Government data is due today.
  • A full return of U.S. motor fuel output could take up to two weeks after Winter Storm Elliott disrupted refineries on the Gulf Coast.
  • Exxon Mobil is suing the EU to force it to scrap the bloc’s new windfall tax on oil groups.
  • New and used tanker values continue to rise on surging demand following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tanker rates for refined petroleum products reach multiyear highs during 2022

Supply Chain

Electric vehicles and hybrids surpass 10% of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 104,201 new COVID-19 infections and 901 virus fatalities Wednesday.
  • Severe attendance issues at U.S. schools are persisting even after the pandemic conditions that prompted them subside.
  • Initial jobless claims rose by 9,000 last week to 225,000, somewhat higher than expected and the highest level since February. 
  • The U.S. leading economic index, a compilation of 10 economic gauges, fell a sharp 1% in November, twice the decline expected and the ninth consecutive monthly decline. While the economy continued to expand, the index was brought down by high inflation, a weakening jobs market and a soft housing market.
  • The Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index, measuring activity from Maryland to South Carolina, saw its first expansion since April, the latest data shows:
United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index
  • U.S. pending home sales fell 4% in November, their sixth straight month of declines to the second-lowest level on record.
United States Pending Home Sales MoM
  • High-end metro U.S. home sales slumped 38% in the three months ended Nov. 30, the biggest drop on record, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.
  • Data suggests U.S. inflation hit middle-income households the hardest in 2022, with purchasing power from paychecks falling 2.9%, the largest drop of any population segment. Buying power increased for the bottom and top fifths of households.
  • The U.S. dollar, up 8.9% this year, the biggest increase since 2014, has given back half its gains since peaking in September when it hit a more than two-decade high against an index of 16 other currencies.
  • Over one-third of pet owners surveyed said they were concerned about expenses due to high inflation, with half saying they may have to give up their pet.
  • U.S. baby formula imports will be subject to tariffs again starting in 2023 as exemptions imposed during the nationwide shortage expire.
  • Cal-Maine, the largest U.S. egg producer, saw quarterly sales more than double from a year ago as rapid inflation and effects from an avian-flu outbreak pushed prices higher.

International Markets

South Korea Industrial Production

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