MH Daily Bulletin: July 21

July 21, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

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  • Oil prices fell modestly Wednesday on news of lower U.S. gasoline demand. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 3.7% at $96.16/bbl, Brent was down 2.8% at $103.90/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 0.1% at $8.02/MMBtu.
  • U.S. natural gas futures are up 48% this month, including a 10% jump Wednesday, as a heatwave drives demand. 
  • U.S. crude inventories fell by 446,000 barrels last week, reversing forecasts for a build. Meanwhile, gasoline inventories were higher than expected after a 7.6% drop in gasoline demand from the same time last year.
  • Declining favor for new crude projects has led U.S. midstream firms to boost plans for natural gas pipelines and export terminals, a key growth opportunity. 
  • Canada’s Keystone oil pipeline operated at reduced rates for a third day following a pump failure in South Dakota. 
  • Oil field services provider Baker Hughes reported a larger-than-expected Q2 loss, led by a $365 million charge from its Russian operations and supply chain issues. 
  • Shell is exploring a sale of its stakes in two U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas developments, potentially raising as much as $1.5 billion for the energy major. 
  • Houston’s Cheniere Energy reached a long-term deal to supply PetroChina with LNG from 2026 to 2050. 
  • U.S. power grids are increasing their resilience in the face of more frequent extreme weather events, industry leaders say. 
  • The International Energy Agency says global demand for electricity is slowing sharply due to recessionary fears and high prices. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
    • The EU formally proposed that member nations cut their natural gas consumption by 15% over the next eight months in a plan that would affect all households, power producers and industry. 
How a Russian Gas Freeze Would Curtail European GDPs
  • Shipments of natural gas on the key Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany resumed at a reduced rate this morning, ending 10 days of tense speculation about whether Moscow would completely halt flows. 
  • A European bailout for German power supplier Uniper could be finalized this week, allowing for greater governmental control but also for higher prices for customers. 
  • China’s large purchases of discounted Russian crude are upending global trade flows
  • In the first quarter of this year, China approved new coal-fired power capacity equivalent to its capacity approvals through the first half of last year. 
  • Striking workers are disrupting LNG production at one of Shell’s offshore locations in Australia. 

Supply Chain

The Highest Temperatures Ever Recorded in the UK

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 126,018 new COVID-19 infections and 353 virus fatalities Wednesday. 
  • New COVID-19 cases in California rose 36% the past month, while 90% of Californians live in areas with high infection rates. 
  • New York extended its pandemic state of emergency as virus hospitalizations rise, straining medical facilities. 
  • Less than 50% of eligible Americans have gotten booster shots against COVID-19, the CDC says. 
  • Survey results show only 36% of Americans typically wear a mask outside their homes, the lowest number since the pandemic began.
  • Omicron differs from earlier variants of COVID-19, with sore throat and hoarse voice its top symptoms. 
  • People who catch COVID-19 have a greater risk of being diagnosed with diabetes and heart conditions for weeks after infection, according to a new study. 
  • U.S. home sales fell 5.4% to an adjusted rate of 5.12 million units in June, a two-year low, reflecting a surge in borrowing rates. 
United States Existing Home Sales

International Markets

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