MH Daily Bulletin: March 2

March 2, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • Plastics News named M. Holland among the Best Places to Work for 2023! This marks the company’s sixth consecutive year receiving this award. Congratulations to all 22 finalists this year!


  • Oil rose 1% Wednesday on news of a jump in manufacturing in top crude importer China.
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 0.2% at $77.84/bbl, Brent was up 0.1% at $84.42/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 0.1% at $2.81/MMBtu.
  • U.S. crude stocks rose by 1.2 million barrels last week to a total of 480.2 million barrels, the highest since May 2021.
  • Germany paid more than double for natural gas last year despite a 30% decline in import volumes.
  • Equinor is nearing a deal to buy the British North Sea assets of Canada’s Suncor Energy for around $1 billion.
  • The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers expects upstream investments in the nation’s oil and gas industry to approach $40 billion this year, higher than pre-pandemic levels and an 11% increase over last year.
  • Canada’s Baytex Energy is buying rival U.S. firm Ranger Oil for about $2.5 billion.
  • After two misstarts to invest in foreign LNG projects, Saudi Aramco is again considering investing in an LNG export facility either in the U.S. or Asia, according to reports.
  • A consortium of cities in four western U.S. states endorsed a small-nuclear-reactor project in Idaho that could expand to other states by 2030.
  • Dow and private firm X-energy agreed to develop the first grid-scale next-generation nuclear reactor for an industrial site in North America.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line is moving forward with plans to adapt its newbuilds to use methanol as their primary fuel.
  • Carbon emissions from the global energy industry grew 0.9% last year to a record high. 

Supply Chain

Domestic Markets

  • First-time unemployment claims declined by 2,000 to 190,000 last week, the third consecutive decline and seventh straight week of claims below 200,000.
  • U.S. manufacturing activity rose slightly in February from January but remained in contraction territory for the fourth straight month, according to the Institute for Supply Management.
United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)
  • U.S. construction spending unexpectedly fell in January as investment in single-family homebuilding continued to decline, the Commerce Department reported.
United States Construction Spending

International Markets

  • Euro zone inflation eased slightly in February to a higher-than-expected 8.5% as lower energy costs offset stubbornly high inflation in other goods and services, fueling expectations of continued interest rate hikes by the European Central Bank.
  • German consumer prices rose a higher-than-expected 9.3% in February from the prior year.
  • British factory activity contracted last month at the slowest pace since July, a sign that output will likely rise in the coming 12 months.
  • South Korea’s factory activity contracted for an eighth straight month in February.
  • The U.S. administration’s effort to promote climate-friendly technologies is attracting German companies to the nation, trade groups say.
  • Chinese authorities are considering a 2023 growth target as high as 6% when they announce it on March 5 as optimism grows about the nation’s economic outlook.
  • New home sales in China rose 14.9% in February.
  • Canadian manufacturing activity expanded at a faster pace in February as measures of output and new orders both rose to nine-month highs.
Canada Manufacturing PMI

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