MH Daily Bulletin: January 24

January 24, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is the headline sponsor for AMI’s Thermoplastic Concentrates in Orlando on Jan. 24-26. Stop by Booth #16 to speak with our experts and attend a talk on regulatory compliance changes by Christopher Thelen, M. Holland’s Senior Regulatory Specialist, on Jan. 24 at 4:20 pm.
  • 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.
  • A recent Plastics News article highlights M. Holland’s restructuring of its management team. Click here to read the full article.
  • 2022 was a difficult year for supply chains, with 3D printing, Color & Compounding and Rotational Molding all weathering challenges to keep inventories up to date. Click here to read what M. Holland’s market managers had to say about their predictions for the three industries in 2023.
  • M. Holland announced the restructuring of its leadership team to support accelerated growth and the next phase of the company’s evolution. Click here to read the full press release. 

Supply

  • Oil prices were mixed Monday, settling near their highest levels since early December.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.6% at $81.10/bbl, Brent was down 0.6% at $87.69/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 0.4% at $3.43/MMBtu.
  • U.S. gasoline prices rose 32.7 cents the past month amid a rebound in crude oil, according to AAA.
  • Oilfield servicer Baker Hughes saw a 32% jump in fourth-quarter orders but reported disappointing earnings due to supply-chain disruption and labor shortages.
  • The U.S. administration predicts Brent will rise from an average of $81/bbl in December to $83/bbl in the first quarter of 2023 due to Europe’s upcoming ban on seaborne imports of Russian petroleum products:
Crude oil prices forecast to decline beginning in the second half of 2023

Supply Chain

  • The Baltic Dry Index for dry-bulk shipping prices dropped to 763 to start the week, down to its lowest level since June 2020.
BDI Baltic Dry Index Near March 2020

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 2,175 new COVID-19 infections and no virus fatalities Monday.
  • The FDA proposed a new set of guidelines encouraging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 every year, as is typical with flu shots.
  • In a sign of potential weakening ahead for labor markets, companies cut 35,000 temporary workers in December, the fifth consecutive month of cuts.
  • 3M said it is cutting 2,500 jobs after reporting a 6% drop in fourth-quarter revenues. 
  • Johnson & Johnson’s fourth-quarter earnings fell 25% and revenues slipped 4% on a drop in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Conference Board’s widely tracked gauge of U.S. economic activity tumbled for a tenth straight month in December, including a weakened outlook for manufacturing, home building, job and financial markets.
  • Newell Brands announced plans to cut about 13% of its office positions to save costs amid stubbornly high inflation that has pressured consumer spending.
  • Business travel from small and medium-size firms is helping drive a recovery in the hotel industry, new data shows, with transactions reaching 80% of pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter.
  • Ericsson says telecom operators in markets including the U.S. are delaying placing new orders for 5G gear amid economic uncertainty.
  • Paint and coatings manufacturer PPG Industries expects a COVID-19 wave to disrupt its China business for the second time in as many months.
  • Industrial parts supplier Fastenal saw fourth-quarter sales rise 10.7% from a year ago, the slowest pace in 2022.
  • Industrial components maker Timken says it is closing a 50-year-old plant in South Carolina.

International Markets

  • In the latest China news:
  • A gauge of consumer confidence in the euro area rose by 1.1 points to -20.9 in January, the highest reading in almost a year on hopes of lower energy prices:
Euro Area Consumer Confidence
  • British consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months in January, returning to near-50-year lows on persistent concerns about the soaring cost of living.
  • Japanese manufacturing activity shrank for a third month in January, with the au Jibun Bank purchasing managers’ index staying flat at 48.9:
Japan Manufacturing PMI
  • Mexico’s headline inflation likely remained steady around 7.86% in the first half of January, while core inflation likely slowed.
  • Inflation in Venezuela hit 234% last year, representing a slowdown from the previous year, according to officials.
  • The operator of Germany’s BER airport in Berlin expects to ground all regular passenger flights Wednesday due to a worker strike.

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