MH Daily Bulletin: March 14

March 14, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • Each year, M. Holland joins organizations around the globe to celebrate the profound achievements and ongoing efforts of women on International Women’s Day. To celebrate, a few Mployees shared their thoughts on this year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity. Click here to watch the video.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.


U.S. ethane demand grew 9% in 2022, driven by petrochemical capacity additions

Supply Chain

  • Severe weather will hit both the East and West coasts of the U.S. this week.
  • The number of containerships in U.S. coastal waters has fallen 51% since last year to a total of 106.
  • Freightos, an online freight booking platform, slashed its growth forecasts amid sputtering cargo volumes and faltering freight rates.
  • Growing demand for oil in a reopening China have sent spot rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) above $100,000 per day, up from $38,000 a day in January, with rates from the Mideast to China up over 20% just last Friday.
  • Norfolk Southern reached an agreement with two of its unions to provide up to seven paid sick days per year to workers.
  • U.S. regulators are taking a closer look at Apollo Global Management’s proposed takeover of Atlas Air.
  • India and Australia are deepening security and economic ties as they seek to diversify their markets and shore up supply chains.
  • The United Nations is working to extend a Black Sea initiative signed with Russia that allows for safe grain transport to prevent a global food crisis.
  • In the latest news from the auto industry:
    • Volkswagen plans to spend $192 billion over the next five years to develop electric vehicles and strengthen its positions in China and the U.S.
    • Volkswagen chose Canada for its first battery cell plant outside Europe.
    • GM agreed to hike salaries by 10% this year at its largest Mexico factory, marking one of the largest-ever raises in Mexico’s auto sector.
    • Rivian Automotive and its largest shareholder Amazon are in talks to end the exclusivity part of their electric van deal.
    • Porsche expects sales to rise to as much as $45 billion this year after the luxury carmaker posted its highest annual earnings in 2022 since going public.
    • GM is exploring the use of groundbreaking new artificial-intelligence chatbots as an in-car voice assistant.
    • British electric-vehicle startup Arrival raised over $300 million to launch U.S. production of its first van in 2024.
    • Hyundai is nearing a deal to buy a plant from GM as part of its expansion plan in India.

Domestic Markets

  • The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank will leave early-stage biotech companies with a large funding void, experts say.
  • In the wake of the SVB and Signature bank failures, depositors are flocking to large U.S. banks from regional institutions.
SVB and Signature Were Highly Exposed to Risk of a Bank Run
  • The annual inflation rate fell to 6.0% in February, in line with expectations and the lowest since September 2021. 
  • U.S. consumer inflation expectations for the year ahead fell sharply to 4.2% in February, the lowest point since May 2021:
United States Consumer Inflation Expectations
  • Shares of United Airlines fell after the carrier said it expects to post a loss in the current quarter.
  • Uber, Lyft and other gig-economy firms scored a victory with a California court ruling that preserves their independent-contractor model in the state.
  • Bracing for a steep fall in COVID-19 vaccine sales, Pfizer struck a $43 billion deal to acquire cancer treatment developer Seagen.
  • Private U.S. fast-food chain Chick-fil-A plans to spend about $1 billion to open new locations in five international markets by 2030.
  • The number of renter households making $150,000 or more a year rose by almost 90% between 2016 and 2021 as housing costs inflated.
  • A new survey suggests some 3 out of every 4 Americans regret relocating during 2021’s housing market boom.

International Markets

  • European banks are well positioned to avoid the capital squeeze affecting many regional U.S. banks in the aftermath of the SVB and Signature bank failures.
  • Wage growth in the U.K. declined to 6.5% in the three months ended in January, down from 6.7% in the three months ended in December, the first decline since 2021.
  • China is fully opening its borders and will resume issuing all types of visas beginning Wednesday.
  • South Korea’s import prices for February fell for the first time in two years on weaker oil prices.
  • Staff at several airports in major German cities went on strike Monday, grounding all outbound commercial flights and impacting arrivals.
  • The recent rally has stalled for copper prices, which fell 4.3% from January to February, due to a sluggish recovery for the economy in China, which consumes over 50% of the metal globally.

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