MH Daily Bulletin: February 27

February 27, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • Oil edged higher Friday but was flat for the week, with prices supported by lower Russian exports and pressured by rising U.S. inventories.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.6% at $75.83/bbl, Brent was down 0.7% at $82.62/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 4.6% at $2.67/MMBtu.
  • Active U.S. drilling rigs fell by seven last week to a total of 753, according to Baker Hughes.
  • U.S. LNG exporter Cheniere Energy reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.
  • Germany is on pace to become the world’s fourth-largest LNG importer by 2030 by building 70.7 million tonnes per year of import capacity, according to the nation’s economy ministry.
  • Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex saw three fires at separate facilities that it operates in Mexico and the U.S. last week.
  • Ecuador declared force majeure for its oil industry last week following a bridge collapse that triggered the closure of crude and gas pipelines.
  • Venezuelan crude production is down 75% over the past decade.
  • Crude exports from the U.S. to Europe are up 38% in the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, as shipments to the continent exceed those to Asia.
  • Europe is on track to import a seven-year high of diesel from the Middle East and Asia this month after an embargo on Russian imports took effect Feb. 5.
  • Early data suggests a G7 price cap on Russian petroleum products and EU bans on Russian oil imports have curbed Moscow’s energy revenues without creating oil shortages.
Daily Russian Fossil Fuel Revenues Still at $0.5 Billion

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • Global stock markets slid Friday after the personal-consumption expenditures price index — the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge — rose a higher-than-expected 5.4% in January.
United States PCE Price Index Annual Change
United States Personal Spending
  • U.S. companies borrowed 6% more in January than a year earlier to finance equipment investments, according to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association.
  • The number of Americans working part time is surging, a reflection of changes in the U.S. economy since the start of the pandemic.
  • American millennials have racked up debt at a historic pace since the pandemic, with 30-somethings owing $3.8 trillion in the fourth quarter, up 27% from pre-pandemic levels.
  • The pandemic-fueled embrace of remote work has pushed employment among Americans with disabilities to an all-time high of 21.3%.
  • Used car retailer American Car Center, which primarily sold in the subprime market, shuttered its business as more Americans fall behind on auto loans.
  • Several big names in the U.S. travel and leisure industry are reporting faster rates of bookings this year than in pre-pandemic times.
  • Sales of new U.S. single-family homes jumped to a 10-month high in January as prices declined.
United States New Home Sales
  • Major consumer companies including Kraft Heinz and Conagra Brands are culling product lines to combat still-high costs and falling consumer demand, executives said last week.
  • Apple is reportedly making major progress on a no-prick blood glucose monitor built into its wearable devices, a potential milestone for the healthcare industry.

International Markets

  • China’s central bank expects the nation’s economy to rebound this year as it plans more “precise and forceful” monetary stimulus.
  • The EU vowed to increase pressure on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine as it adopted a 10th sanctions package against Russia Saturday.
  • India is starting to emerge as a global economic power, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • Brazilian consumer prices rose by a higher-than-expected 0.76% this month as annual inflation remains well above targets.
  • British Airways-owner IAG posted its first annual profit of the pandemic and said earnings could jump 90% this year as business rebounds.

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