MH Daily Bulletin: June 10

June 10, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland’s 3D Printing group offers a rapid response alternative for producing selected parts where resin availability is tight. For more information, email our 3D Printing team.
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  • Oil prices fell half a percent Thursday after new lockdowns were announced in Shanghai, threatening demand. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were down 0.1% at $121.40/bbl and Brent was off 0.5% at $122.50/bbl. 
  • U.S. natural gas prices rose about 3% Thursday on news of unusually low inventories compared to the five-year average. In mid-morning trading, futures were down 2.1% at $8.77/MMBtu. 
  • British natural gas prices spiked as much as 39% Thursday on news that Freeport’s fire-damaged export facility in Texas — which provides a fifth of all U.S. LNG exports — will shut down for three weeks. Benchmark EU prices also jumped. 
  • The U.S. government expects natural gas prices to average $8.71/MMBtu this summer and remain high throughout the year:
EIA expects U.S. natural gas prices to remain high through 2022

Supply Chain

  • Temperatures could reach 116 degrees in Phoenix this weekend as a dangerous heat wave envelops the U.S. Southwest. Power demand in Texas will hit all-time highs every day from now to Monday. 
  • An oil spill closed shipping on a major route between Lake Superior and Lake Huron Thursday. 
  • The U.S. marine economy shrank 5.8% in the first year of the pandemic, outpacing overall GDP losses, new government data shows. 
  • Automation is shaping up to be a key issue in high-stakes contract negotiations between unionized dockworkers and West Coast shipping lines and cargo handlers. 
  • U.S. ports and their tenants plan to invest almost $33 billion annually by 2025, according to the American Association of Port Authorities. 
  • Cars are piling up at Georgia’s Port of Brunswick, the second largest carport in the U.S., due to a shortage of truckers to transport them. 
  • North European container ports say they are running at capacity with the peak shipping season still to come. 
  • Out-of-stock rates for U.S. baby formula rose to 74% nationally for the week ended May 28.
  • Lumber prices fell to a nine-month low this week as U.S. mortgage demand plummeted. 
  • China’s May exports jumped a larger-than-expected 16.9% from a year earlier as easing COVID curbs allowed some factories to restart. 
  • Airbus saw its deliveries fall 6% in May from a year ago amid continued supply shortages. 
  • Boeing’s Air Force One redesign will likely see further delays due to a shortage of mechanics. 
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. warned it may not be able to increase production as quickly as hoped over the next two years due to manufacturing equipment shortages
  • White House efforts to pass a $52 billion bill to boost domestic semiconductor production is at risk of stalling
  • Orders for workplace robots in the U.S. increased a record 40% in Q1 compared to the same period in 2021, according to the Association for Advancing Automation. 
  • Tesla’s Chinese production tripled in May even though its Shanghai factory only recently emerged from COVID lockdowns. 
  • A surge in battery metal prices means it could take years for electric vehicles to become as affordable as conventional cars. 
  • Panasonic plans to quadruple its production of electric vehicle batteries by 2028. 
  • Volkswagen is scouting the U.S. for an in-house battery cell manufacturing plant.
  • LG Energy Solution broke ground on nickel processing plants in Indonesia as part of its $9.8 billion plan to build electric-vehicle batteries in the country. 
  • Truckload carrier Heartland Express acquired Pennsylvania-based Smith Transport for $170 million
  • U.S. regulators levied a $2 million fine on Hapag-Lloyd for improperly charging a detention fee in mid-2021. 
  • Brazilian mining giant Vale plans to buy 14 new dual-fuel very large crude carriers capable of running on methanol at a cost of $1.5 billion. 
  • Chaotic commodity markets pushed net profit at Swiss trading giant Trafigura 29% higher in the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago. 

Domestic Markets

International Markets

  • More news related to the war in Europe:
    • Almost 1,000 global companies racked up more than $59 billion in losses from their Russian operations since late February. 
    • GDP growth forecasts have been widely revised downward since December 2021 due to the war in Ukraine: 
War Puts the Brakes on Global Economic Recovery
  • China’s inflationary pressure increased an annualized 2.1% in May as lockdowns hammered domestic demand. 
  • The Czech Republic’s headline inflation jumped 16% in May, a 30-year high. 
Inflation Projections and the War in Ukraine

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