MH Daily Bulletin: February 10

February 10, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland


  • Oil fell half-a-percent Thursday on news of a continued rise in U.S. crude stocks last week.
  • Early today, Russia announced it is cutting oil production by 500,00 bpd in response to Western price caps, sending global prices higher.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 1.7% at $79.36/bbl, Brent was up 1.9% at $86.08/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 1.2% at $2.46/MMBtu.
  • Crude production in the Permian Basin surged 12% in January as Plains All American Pipeline predicted its output in the shale field will be up 500,000 bpd this year.
  • Unusually warm weather led to a sharp drop in U.S. residential heating oil prices in recent weeks:
U.S. residential heating oil prices decline from record-highs in November
  • As part of a wider corporate reorganization, Exxon Mobil announced plans to create a global trading division to compete more aggressively with the likes of BP and Shell.
  • Key oil operations in Turkey are unlikely to restart for another week due to damage from major earthquakes.
  • China’s state-owned oil majors could significantly increase the nation’s imports of Russian crude this year.
  • Algeria was Spain’s largest natural gas supplier in January, providing 25% of the nation’s demand.
  • TotalEnergies is pausing plans to take a 25% stake in embattled Adani Group’s $50 billion hydrogen project in India.

Supply Chain

Cars Increasingly Ready for Autonomous Driving

Domestic Markets

  • Over 1 million jobs were added in the U.S. last quarter, with the largest growth in healthcare, education, and leisure and hospitality.
  • New White House wage figures suggest labor-cost pressures are easing in key parts of the economy.
  • Prices for online goods in the U.S. fell 1% in January from a year earlier, the fifth consecutive monthly drop.
  • Yahoo announced plans to lay off about 1,000 positions this week, or 20% of its workforce, as it overhauls its tech advertising unit.
  • Unilever plans to continue raising prices for its detergents, soaps and packaged food to offset rising input costs until the second half of 2023.
  • The U.S. housing market slowdown has been much more pronounced in expensive markets and areas where prices surged the most during the pandemic boom, especially the West.
  • Mortgage rates rose at the start of February for the first time in a month, averaging 6.12%. The data aligns with a surge in mortgage applications last week:
  • In the latest news from quarterly earnings season:
  • U.S. beer shipments in December were off 14.1% compared with December 2021 and 19.4% from December 2020 as consumers responded to recent price hikes.

International Markets

  • The White House is poised to introduce new restrictions on U.S. companies funding the development of advanced computing tech in China, according to reports.
  • Unilever predicts China will see a “consumption boom” as lockdowns ease, boosted by some $2 trillion in excess savings built up during the pandemic.
  • The U.K. avoided a technical recession, marked by two consecutive quarters of contraction, as the economy showed zero growth in the fourth quarter after shrinking 0.2% in the prior quarter. 
  • Annual inflation in Germany rose to 8.7% in January from a four-month low in December.
  • Mexican consumer prices rose 7.91% in January from a year earlier, slightly above forecasts. The nation’s central bank hiked interest rates by 50 basis points to around 11% Thursday.
  • Real wages in Japan rose in December for the first time in nine months.
  • South Africa declared a state of emergency as crippling power shortages threaten the nation’s industries and social fabric.
  • Global commercial real estate prices fell for the first time in 14 years last quarter.
  • Russia’s current account surplus shrank almost 60% in January amid a sharp drop in export volumes.

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