MH Daily Bulletin: January 5

January 5, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes nearly $500 billion in new spending and tax breaks that will catalyze the clean energy transition, increase tax revenues and reduce healthcare costs. Dwight Morgan, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development at M. Holland, recently provided insight on what the IRA includes and key considerations for the plastics industry. Click here to read the full post.


  • Oil fell more than 5% Wednesday, marking the steepest percentage loss in the first two trading days of any year for over three decades.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 0.8% at $73.43/bbl and Brent was up 0.9% at $78.52/bbl.
  • U.S. natural gas prices are down 57% from summer highs. Futures were down 9.2% at $3.79/MMBtu in morning trading today.
  • U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels last week after 1 million bpd in refining capacity was shuttered by Winter Storm Elliott, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Government data is due today.
  • Already set at a 10-month low, Saudi Arabia may further cut prices for its flagship Arab Light crude grade to Asia in February as concerns about oversupply continue to cloud the market.
  • The 120,000 bpd rise in OPEC’s oil output in December ran counter to the agreement by the wider OPEC+ alliance to cut production targets to support the market.
  • The U.S. is on track to become the world’s biggest exporter of LNG in 2023, beating out market leader Australia once Freeport’s fire-idled plant in Texas is restarted. 
  • Dredging issues are slowing Chevron’s efforts to load tankers at one of its four Venezuelan joint ventures to bring heavy crude to the U.S. for the first time in years.
  • BP plans to boost investment in its U.S. onshore oil and gas business, mostly in Texas, by 41% to a total of $2.4 billion this year. The producer also said it would raise annual spending in the Gulf of Mexico through 2025.
  • Exxon Mobil signaled another strong operational profit of about $15.4 billion in the fourth quarter, pushing it toward record annual profit in 2022.
  • OPEC member Libya’s production capacity is expected to top out at 1.8 million bpd by 2024, up from around 1.1 million currently, officials say.
  • India’s power regulator said providers that rely on imported coal should be fully compensated for losses suffered when they were mandated to generate power during 2022.
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
January Temperature Records Broken Across Europe

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

United States Job Openings
United States Job Quits
  • U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December, dropping for a second straight month to 48.4 on the Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index.
United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s forward-looking new orders sub-index tumbled to 45.2 in December, the lowest reading since May 2020, signaling that deflation for goods is underway.
  • New reports suggest Amazon will lay off more than 17,000 employees as part of its latest round of job cuts, significantly more than the 10,000 reported in November.
  • Salesforce announced plans to cut about 10% of its workforce and reduce real estate holdings after the enterprise software firm said it hired too many people during the pandemic-fueled boom.
  • U.S. mortgage applications ended 2022 at the lowest level in more than two decades, new data shows.
  • Manhattan home prices were 5.5% lower in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to a year earlier, the first annual decrease since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Online searches for new U.S. office space fell significantly in 2022 from previous years, new research shows. The corporate office market is poised to continue worsening this year as companies look to shed real estate as a primary way to reduce expenses.
  • Building owners in New York City are racing to develop renewables capacity ahead of new penalties that take effect in 2024 on owners of inefficient properties.
  • Johnson & Johnson submitted its plan to spin off its consumer health business Kenvue in the first significant U.S. IPO filing of the new year.
  • At about $580 billion, more venture funding was raised for climate-friendly projects than for fossil-fuel companies for the first time ever last year, according to Bloomberg.

International Markets

France Inflation Rate
  • Shopper numbers across Britain rose almost 10% in December from a year ago, staying resilient despite a growing cost-of-living crisis and a national rail strike.
  • About 36% of British businesses surveyed expect lower profits this year.
  • Credit defaults are set to more than double in Europe this year as companies struggle with rising costs and cash-strapped consumers, S&P Global says.
  • Ryanair hiked its forecast for full-year profit by up to 325 million euros Wednesday, citing pent-up travel demand that unleashed in the fourth quarter.
  • Germany’s CO2 emissions held steady last year as higher use of oil and coal offset lower energy consumption and record renewables output.
  • Global mergers and acquisitions values slumped 36% to $3.78 trillion in 2022, well short of a record $5.91 trillion the previous year.

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