February 20, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

MH Daily Bulletin: February 20

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • Oil fell 2.5% Friday, capping a substantial weekly decline on worries that the U.S. will hike interest rates more than expected.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 0.9% at $77.03/bbl, Brent was up 1.1% at $83.95/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 0.2% at $2.27/MMBtu.
  • Global oil demand hit a record high of 1.3 million bpd in December. 
  • Active U.S. drilling rigs fell by one last week to a total of 760, according to Baker Hughes.
  • U.S. crude shipments to Europe were 70% higher in 2022 from the prior year and are expected to continue growing.
  • The U.S. is on track to import about 3 million barrels of crude from Venezuela this month.
  • China’s reopening is expected to raise its crude imports to a record-high nearing 11.8 million bpd this year, industry experts say. The nation overtook the U.S. in 2022 as the world’s largest refiner.
  • European natural gas prices fell to an 18-month low last week amid mild weather and large inventories.
  • Bailed-out German gas company Uniper expects profits to recover this year following a record $20.3 billion net loss in 2022.
  • Over $2 billion has been poured into procurement of ships for a “shadow fleet” to carry Russian fuel around Western sanctions, experts say.
  • Some environmental groups are questioning the impact of planned offshore wind farms on the U.S. Atlantic coast following a string of large-whale deaths.
  • Global spending on fossil-fuel subsidies surpassed $1 trillion last year, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • India’s biggest natural gas supplier is looking at acquiring a large stake in at least one planned U.S. LNG export project.
  • Rolling blackouts in Cuba will last until May as the country’s aging oil-fired power plants deteriorate.
  • The Philippines is the world’s biggest source of plastic ocean waste, with India a distant second.

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

United States Import Prices MoM
Disinflation Yes, Deflation No
  • Over 9% of subprime auto loans were past due at the end of 2022, the highest level in over a decade.
  • Michigan is becoming a technology hub as automakers divert tech investments from Silicon Valley to closer to home.
  • The price of eggs rose 8.5% in January compared with the month before.
  • Shares of publicly listed travel companies are surging amid signs for another bustling year of travel.
  • Deere & Co. raised its annual profit forecast after beating quarterly estimates, led by an increase in spending from construction customers.
  • U.S. initial public offerings hit a 15-month high last week, signaling expectations of a more stable market.

International Markets

  • The death toll from recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria topped 46,000.
  • Workers in advanced economies had less purchasing power last year than in 2019 as inflation continued to rise faster than wages.
  • German producer prices rose a higher-than-expected 17.8% year over year in January, although the pace of gains declined for the fourth month in a row.
  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have cost the German economy $171 billion, or 4% of its GDP, in lost value creation by the end of the year, analysts say.
  • Economists expect Japanese inflation will have hit a 41-year high in January.
  • British consumers unexpectedly boosted spending in January despite an overall weak economic picture.
  • Russian inflation is surging on a recent drop in the value of the ruble.
  • Chinese computer-maker Lenovo reported a 24% revenue decline last quarter, its steepest drop in 14 years.
  • Sales of luxury goods maker Hermes rose 22.9% last quarter on a rebound in Chinese demand.
  • Global air travel demand is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels on most routes this year.
  • Friday’s strike at seven German airports impacted nearly 300,000 travelers.

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