MH Daily Bulletin: July 25

July 25, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland


Supply Chain

  • Dozens of U.S. temperature records were broken last week as a band of heat moved over much of the country, according to the National Weather Service. High temperatures are forecast to linger for several days in the Pacific Northwest, with heat reaching up to 110°F in some inland areas, while Seattle, Portland and parts of Northern California could see temperatures break daily records by Tuesday. Residents living near Yosemite National Park were forced to evacuate as California’s Oak Fire grew to more than 14,000 acres Sunday.
  • British electricity prices are nearly five times higher than their seasonal average, exacerbating the nation’s cost-of-living crisis. 
  • A surge in strikes and other labor protests is threatening industries all over the world, especially in logistics and transport
    • Truckers blockading the Port of Oakland for much of last week took a day-long break Saturday but could resume protests during normal port traffic today. The port’s import container dwell times have spiked 41% since mid-July to 17.5 days
    • South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding reached agreement with contract workers to end a weeks-long strike that racked up $600 million in losses and delayed deliveries of LNG vessels. 
    • A 60,000-worker strike at Mexican telecom giant Telmex ended last Friday following agreement on a contract deal. 
    • Ground crews working for Lufthansa will strike for one day Wednesday as they seek a monthly wage increase of 9.5%
  • The Cass Freight Index for domestic U.S. freight shipments dropped to 1.203 in June, down 2.3% from a year ago but up 23.9% from pre-pandemic levels. 
  • Intermodal rail backups near Toronto and Montreal are triggering expanding congestion at Canada’s West Coast ports
  • The global shipping market may face a container surplus as large as 6 million TEUs following two years of intensive ordering. 
  • The corporate supply-chain finance market grew 38% to $1.8 trillion last year as more companies offered lending to cash-strapped vendors, many of whom saw delayed payments during the early days of the pandemic. 
  • Opposition is growing among truck safety and insurance groups over the U.S. government’s plan to allow commercial truck driving apprenticeships for people under age 21
  • S&P’s purchasing managers index of U.S. manufacturing activity edged down from 52.7 to 52.3 in July, marking the slowest growth in manufacturing in two years. 
United States Manufacturing PMI

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 126,128 new COVID-19 infections and 355 virus fatalities Sunday. New cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks are up 19% and 15%, respectively.  
  • The fast-spreading BA.5 subvariant of Omicron now accounts for 80% of U.S. COVID-19 cases, including a high proportion of reinfections. 
  • Driven by the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron, COVID-19 reinfections (+52%) and hospitalizations (+35%) rose sharply in New York state the past month. 
  • COVID-19 cases may be plateauing in Los Angeles County, where infections were down 2% week over week to an average of roughly 6,600 per day
  • Variant-driven waves of COVID-19 are becoming harder to track as more Americans turn to rapid, at-home antigen tests that are less detailed than lab-reviewed PCR tests. 
  • S&P’s composite purchasing managers index — a broad measure of U.S. business activity — fell sharply from 52.3 to 47.5 in July, the first contraction in two years. 
United States Composite PMI
The World's Highest-grossing Companies
  • Surging inflation in the U.S. is causing more people to switch jobs, with job hoppers in the latest quarter enjoying an average wage hike of 6.4%, versus an average 4.7% increase for those who stayed in their present jobs, the biggest gap in 20 years. 
  • The labor market is showing signs of weakening, with jobless claims on the rise and more companies announcing staff reductions.  
  • Cost-conscious consumers are purchasing more store brands at the supermarket for the first time in the pandemic, as lower marketing costs and less variety give the brands an advantage over their name brand competitors. 
  • American Airlines canceled over 1,100 flights in July and August to provide a “buffer” against expected disruption. 
  • Second-quarter revenue at American Express rose 31% as cardholder spending on travel and entertainment topped pre-pandemic levels. 
  • Top U.S. wireless carrier Verizon reported lower-than-expected subscriber growth in the second quarter in the face of stiff competition and cautious consumers. 
  • Tesla is trying to tap into millions of dollars of public funding to build out its electric vehicle charging network, including a plan to open up its chargers to other car brands for the first time. 

International Markets

  • Japan’s daily COVID-19 cases topped 200,000 for the first time Saturday, the fourth day of record infections. 
  • Australia continues to experience a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, with the number of patients rising to 5,450 Monday, a record. 
  • Mainland China saw 680 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, down from Saturday’s 869 and its lowest daily tally in more than a week. COVID-19 infections rose by 7% in the U.K. last week. 
  • The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern, the group’s highest alert. The U.S. has reported about 2,000 cases of the illness but is well-stocked on tests and vaccines, officials say. 
  • Latin American currencies are down sharply against the dollar this year, pushing up domestic inflation rates and making it harder for many countries to pay back foreign debt::
Latin American Currencies Are Devaluing against the Dollar

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