MH Daily Bulletin: February 1

February 1, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland will be exhibiting at MD&M West in Anaheim on Feb. 7-9. Stop by Booth #4115 to meet our Healthcare team and discuss how M. Holland’s line of medical-grade resins can help you develop safe and effective medical products and packaging.
  • Every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the major trends of the past 12 months. Click here to read M. Holland’s 2023 Plastics Industry Trends & Predictions, including business insight and recommendations for the 3D printing, automotive, color and compounding, electrical and electronics, healthcare, packaging, rotational molding, sustainability, and wire and cable markets.
  • Automotive, Electrical & Electronics and Wire & Cable were top performers in 2022 as electrification incentives and digitalization efforts expanded market opportunity. Click here to read 2023 predictions from our market managers for these three markets.


  • Oil rose 1% Tuesday, recovering from three-week lows on data showing that demand for U.S. crude and petroleum products rose to a five-month high in November.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.4% at $78.58/bbl, Brent was down 0.7% at $84.86/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was off 3.0% at $2.60/MMBtu.
  • U.S. crude stocks likely rose by 6.33 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute, spurring oversupply concerns among traders.
  • Refiners Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66 beat Wall Street profit expectations as margins soared amid tight supplies and high demand for refined products.
  • In a blow for environmentalists, the White House is considering approving a scaled down ConocoPhillips plan for oil drilling in Alaska.
  • More news related to the war in Ukraine:
    • European gas prices shot up 11% Tuesday in anticipation of a cold spell across the continent.
    • Power output dropped in France Tuesday as workers walked off the job in protest over pension reforms.
    • Gazprom’s piped natural-gas exports to Europe fell almost 30% in January to a record-low.
    • The Libyan government rejected an $8 billion gas deal that the nation’s state-owned oil firm signed with Italy’s Eni.
  • Tightened Chinese restrictions on exports of solar technology could delay U.S. plans to build a domestic supply chain, as China currently accounts for nearly all global production of several key components.
  • United Airlines announced a joint venture with LanzaTech and PJT Partners to develop sustainable aviation fuel using ethanol.

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • About 18% of people with long-COVID haven’t returned to work for more than a year after falling ill, according to a recent study.
  • U.S. wage growth slowed to a 1% pace last quarter, the lowest in a year, bolstering expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates by just 25 basis points at its meeting this week.
United States Employment Cost Index QoQ
United States Case Shiller Home Price Index YoY
  • In the latest news from quarterly earnings season:
    • Caterpillar saw earnings slide 29% due to higher manufacturing costs and currency fluctuations, even as sales grew 20%.
    • UPS posted a surprise decline in quarterly revenue after delivering fewer items during the holidays than a year earlier.
    • Snack food maker Mondelez International saw net revenue rise 13.5%, beating market expectations.
    • Amgen saw sales fall 4% on lower revenue from its deal to manufacture COVID-19 antibody treatments for Eli Lilly.
    • Homebuilder PulteGroup reported a 19% boost in sales on the back of persistently high home prices.
  • Payments firm PayPal announced plans to cut 7% of its workforce, or some 2,000 employees.
  • Amazon-owned grocer Whole Foods is requesting help from suppliers to reduce prices on packaged groceries as inflation subsides.
  • Boeing has delivered its last 747 aircraft, marking the end of production for the “Queen of the Skies” jumbo jet that revolutionized air travel in the 1970s and remained in use for decades.
  • Boeing’s CEO hinted at a potential increase in jet production this year on expectations of market recovery in China.

International Markets

  • The euro zone economy grew marginally in the final three months of 2023, managing to avoid a recession despite sky-high energy costs.
Euro Area GDP Growth Rate
  • The euro zone’s full-year growth of 3.5% outpaced that of China and the U.S.
  • Up to half a million teachers, civil servants and transit workers walked off their jobs yesterday, “Walkout Wednesday,” demanding better pay.
  • The number of companies going insolvent in England and Wales rose 57% last year to the highest level since 2009.
  • Italy’s economy contracted by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, increasing concerns about a potential recession.
  • China’s official gauges measuring manufacturing, services and construction activity all rebounded sharply in January, with the Purchasing Managers Index rising above 50, the demarcation between expansion and contraction.
  • Profits at China’s industrial firms fell 4% in 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19 curbs, but an expected recovery this year could revive the sector’s sales.
  • Canada’s economy grew by 0.1% in November and likely stayed flat in December.
  • Banks are trying to reduce unsold loans from buyouts in the cheap-money era by refinancing the debt or selling chunks in secondary markets, limiting their capacity to underwrite M&A transactions.

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