MH Daily Bulletin: March 17

March 17, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland announced a new partnership with Lavergne, a global manufacturer specializing in the formulation of customized compounded engineered resins, to distribute PCR resins for customers in North America. Click here to read the press release.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.


  • Oil rose 1% Thursday, ending a three-session losing streak, following reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia met to discuss ways to boost market stability. 
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 1.9% at $67.07/bbl, Brent was down 2.0% at $73.20/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was down 4.4% at $2.40/MMBtu.
  • The U.S. administration predicts high global demand for petroleum products will lead to continued growth in U.S. production, maintaining the nation’s status as a net exporter.
  • The banking crisis threatens to curb U.S. oil and gas supply growth, sowing the seed for future imbalance, analysts say.
  • Refinery crude demand in China has doubled the daily rate for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to over $100,000 in the past month. 
  • California regulators opened an inquiry into high natural gas prices that have sent utility bills soaring during the state’s cold and stormy winter.
  • Global oil production fell by 365,000 bpd in January, hitting a seven-month low.
  • Saudi Arabia’s crude exports rose by 221,000 bpd to a three-month high in January.
  • European natural gas prices are swinging markedly amid concerns over storage refills being disrupted from strikes in France along with low hydro and nuclear output.
  • Brazil’s Petrobras faces a potential $3.4 billion tax bill over the oil giant’s chartering of vessels to foreign companies.
  • Duke Energy will start construction of a 1-megawatt floating solar array project in Florida this month.

Supply Chain

Retailers Inventories to Sales Ratio

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S.’s biggest banks created a $30 billion rescue fund for First Republic Bank Thursday in an effort to stop a spreading panic following a pair of recent bank failures.
  • Banks borrowed a combined $164.8 billion from two Federal Reserve backstop facilities last week, a sign of escalating funding strains in the aftermath of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure.
  • U.S. import prices fell 0.1% in February and 1.1% year over year, marking the first annual drop since 2020.
United States Import Prices MoM
  • U.S. jobless claims declined by a larger-than-expected 20,000 last week, pointing to continued labor market strength.
United States Initial Jobless Claims
  • Single-family U.S. homebuilding, which accounts for the bulk of housing construction, increased 1.1% in February but was down 31.6% year over year. 
United States Housing Starts
  • Boeing delivered a 787 Dreamliner to Lufthansa this week, its first delivery of the aircraft following a shutdown in late February due to a component issue.
  • Dollar General missed Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter results as the retailer struggled with surging costs and a decline in customer traffic.
  • U.S. maternal mortality rates surged in 2021 to their highest level since 1965 as COVID-19 worsened longstanding problems with hypertension, heart health and access to care.

International Markets

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