MH Daily Bulletin: July 8

July 8, 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 rose 4% Thursday, rebounding from steep losses the previous two sessions. 
  • In mid-day trading today, WTI futures were up 1.7% at $104.40/bbl, Brent was up 2.1% at $106.80/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 1.9% at $6.18/MMBtu. 
  • The average U.S. gasoline price fell for 23 consecutive days through Thursday after hitting a record $5.02 a gallon last month. The current price stands at $4.72 a gallon
  • U.S. crude stockpiles rose by 8.2 million barrels last week after the government released another batch of strategic reserves, according to the EIA. Inventories are 10% below the average for this time of year. 
United States Crude Oil Stocks Change

Supply Chain

  • Outbound U.S. container volumes fell year over year for the 12th consecutive month in May, new data shows. 
  • Ocean container lines are ramping up cancellations of port calls as demand continues to decline, according to supply chain firm project44. 
  • The average price for airfreight shipments from Hong Kong to North America fell 10.1% from May to June, according to the Baltic Exchange. 
  • Local officials voted to allow a Port of Oakland terminal to be converted to a sports and residential complex, potentially clearing the way for construction of a new baseball stadium. 
  • More big ship owners plan to buy dual-fuel methanol-powered ships in their next round of container ship orders. 
  • In the latest news from the auto industry:
    • Volkswagen is launching a massive $20 billion effort to produce electric vehicle batteries through six new or modified facilities in Europe. 
    • Over 1,800 Stellantis workers in Italy agreed to resign as the automaker says fewer people will be needed to make electric vehicles. 
    • Wait times for certain Lexus SUV models in Japan are nearing four years due to supply disruptions. 
  • Boeing’s chief executive says the plane maker could be forced to cancel production of its 737 MAX 10 jet due to regulatory issues that may not be resolved by a December deadline. 
  • RH, the high-end furniture seller formerly known as Restoration Hardware, became the latest furniture retailer to cut its financial targets as consumers pull back on goods spending.
  • GE Appliances will begin testing electric trucks to ship products between logistics sites in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee. 
  • FedEx is working to better integrate its intermodal operations in Dallas-Fort Worth and Kansas City, saying the effort could save $2 billion in five years. 
  • Global PC shipments could drop 9% this year on declining demand, tech consulting firm Gartner predicts:
PC Demand Set to Slump After Pandemic Boost
  • The U.S. Transportation Department awarded over $968 million to 85 airport projects to help address the country’s aging aviation infrastructure. 
  • Romania is reopening Soviet-era rail lines to help Ukraine transport backed-up grain supplies to global markets.  

Domestic Markets

United States Balance of Trade
  • Two Federal Reserve officials announced their support for a 75-basis-point interest-rate hike later this month. 
  • Layoffs announced by U.S.-based employers surged 57% from May to June, new data shows. 
  • The average U.S. mortgage rate fell from 5.7% to 5.3% last week, the largest one-week drop since 2008. 
  • Home prices in San Francisco Bay rose at an unusually low rate of 2% year over year in June, likely reflecting the choice of more workers to move away from the expensive city as they continue working from home. 
  • A near-record half of U.S. small businesses report having unfilled job openings in June despite raising wages. 
  • National office use hit a pandemic-era high of 44% in early June even as more firms plan real estate reductions in anticipation of an economic downturn. 
  • State debt levels rose 4% in 2021, the fastest rate in five years amid historically low interest rates and strong investor demand for municipal bonds. 
  • A quarter of Americans surveyed say high prices and the lack of U.S. charging infrastructure will prevent them from buying an electric vehicle. Separately, infrastructure shortfalls could set RV makers years behind traditional automakers in electrifying their vehicles. 
  • Spirit Airlines will postpone for a third time a shareholder vote on merging with Frontier as the carrier continues negotiations with rival bidder JetBlue Airways. 
  • Boeing’s deal to sell 50 737 MAX jets to Qatar Airways has lapsed, reports suggest. 
  • Merck is in advanced talks to buy cancer-focused biotech firm Seagen Inc. in a deal that could be worth $40 billion
  • The White House’s public request for input marked a first step toward eventually limiting single-use plastics in over $650 billion of federal procurement each year. 
  • The U.S. administration is floating a new requirement that states create their own two- and four-year plans for reducing vehicle emissions in line with federal net-zero targets. 

International Markets

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