MH Daily Bulletin: July 7

July 7, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • We are numb with grief over last weekend’s mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, a neighboring community to M. Holland’s headquarters and home to many Mployees. Fortunately, all Mployees are safe and accounted for, but our hearts and thoughts are with the community after this tragic attack. Our President and CEO Ed Holland shared this message with Mployees this week.


  • Oil prices fell 2% to a 12-week low in volatile trading Wednesday, extending steep losses from the prior session.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 5.5% at $103.90/bbl, Brent was up 4.8% at $105.50/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 12.0% at $6.17/MMBtu. 
  • The average U.S. gasoline price fell to $4.779 a gallon yesterday, a 9-cent decrease for the month. 
  • The American Petroleum Institute says U.S. crude inventories rose by 3.825 million barrels this week, a reversal of expectations for a drawdown. Government data will be released today. 
  • Prices for frack sand are up 150% year-to-date, hampering American producers’ efforts to turn on the taps at the nation’s largest shale sites. 
  • Roughly 83% fewer U.S. college students are graduating with petroleum engineering degrees than five years ago as the energy transition clouds industry prospects.  
  • Equinor said all oil and gas fields affected by a strike in Norway’s petroleum sector will be back in full operation within days
  • China’s fuel export quotas are 39% lower than last year’s, indicating the country will do little to ease the global supply shortage.
  • Shell said it will reverse $4.5 billion in write-downs it took on its oil and gas assets due to the improved outlook for energy. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
    • China’s crude oil imports from Russia soared 55% year over year in May to a record level, a pace that likely continued in June
What India and China Spend on Russian Oil

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 197,297 new COVID-19 infections and 734 virus fatalities Wednesday. 
  • The seven-day average of COVID-19 hospitalizations is up 13% from two weeks ago to its highest level since early March.  
  • The fast-spreading BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron now comprise over 70% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the CDC said. 
  • California’s COVID-19 test positivity rate hit 15% this week, its highest level since January. 
  • The COVID-19 test positivity rate in parts of Manhattan is above 20% as cases rise to a two-month high. 
  • The CDC is recommending a return to mask-wearing in 24 Oregon counties with rising COVID-19 infections. 
  • Louisiana’s latest surge of COVID-19 may be caused by two new subvariants of Omicron that researchers named BE.1 and BF.1. 
  • Yellowstone became the fourth national park in the nation to reimpose indoor mask mandates due to rising COVID-19 infections. 
  • The FDA is allowing U.S. pharmacists to prescribe Pfizer’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment
  • Norwegian Cruise Line has ended pre-board COVID-19 testing requirements
  • Over half of U.S. adults say their lives are returning to pre-pandemic normality, according to a survey by the Associated Press. 
  • Newly released transcripts of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting are solidifying expectations for another 75-basis-point rate hike this month. 
  • Revised estimates show U.S. economic output contracted 1.6% in the first quarter, more than reported earlier. 
  • First-time jobless claims rose to 235,000 last week, the highest in almost six months. 
  • U.S. job openings fell less than expected in May, remaining above 11 million for the sixth consecutive month. The data points to continued strength in the U.S. job market, economists say. 
  • Growth in the U.S. services sector hit a two-year low in June, according to the Institute for Supply Management. 
  • U.S. mortgage demand dropped 5.4% last week as average interest rates fell for the second week in a row. 
  • Rental markets in some of the hottest U.S. cities are showing early signs of a cooldown after prices surged 11.4% over the past year. 
  • Manhattan homes sold at a median price of $1.25 million in the second quarter, a record high as demand remains strong. 
  • United Airlines blamed the FAA for 75% of its recent flight disruptions. 
  • Several food-industry executives say labor pressures are starting to ease for entry-level positions
  • New York City lifeguards will see a 20% pay raise as more than half of positions remain unfilled. 
  • Electric vehicle maker Rivian reaffirmed its annual production target of 25,000 vehicles after ramping up output in the second quarter. 
  • Minnesota-based 3M faces the prospect of additional liabilities on top of the $581 million it agreed to pay to the Netherlands over its use of PFAS chemicals in consumer goods. 

International Markets

Tesla Knocked Out of Top Place as Biggest BEV Producer

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