MH Daily Bulletin: March 29

March 29, 2023 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland’s partnership with Lavergne, a global manufacturer of customized compounded engineered resins, was recently shared in Plastics Today. To learn more about this agreement to distribute post-consumer recycled (PCR) resins for customers in North America, click here.


Supply Chain

  • The average price of diesel in the U.S. fell 5.7 cents last week to $4.128 per gallon, the lowest level in more than a year.
  • Union Pacific agreed with a union to maintain two-person crews, dropping its recent demand for one-person crews.
  • Major Japanese construction equipment manufacturers with facilities in China are turning that country into an export hub for their products amid a slowdown in Chinese infrastructure investment and domestic demand.
  • The Georgia Ports Authority announced a $170 million investment to acquire 55 next-generation hybrid cranes.
  • South Africa’s government demanded that its state-owned rail and port operator mend plaguing operations issues to end a national logistics crisis, which has stranded stockpiles of commodities and forced shippers to redirect traffic to ports outside the country.
  • Maersk’s port operating arm APM Terminals is partnering with the Vietnamese Hateco group to expand capacity at Vietnam’s northern Haiphong City port.
  • Big apparel retailers are expanding their use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) to track individual items more closely within stores.
  • Supply-chain issues with advanced alloys are slowing China’s production ramp-up of military aircraft.
  • New data from Pitney-Bowes shows that parcel delivery volumes fell 2.2% in 2022 with FedEx suffering the biggest decline.
  • New U.S. rules for semiconductor development are forcing many of the world’s biggest manufacturers to choose between expanding in the U.S. or China.
  • Micron Technology expects third-quarter revenue to tumble nearly 60% from a year earlier amid a supply glut in the chip industry.
  • In the latest news from the auto industry:

Domestic Markets

  • The Conference Board’s widely tracked index of U.S. consumer confidence rose unexpectedly to 104.2 in March, up from 103.4 in February.
  • The U.S. trade deficit in goods widened by 0.6% in February to $91.6 billion, mostly on a decline in exports, according to the Commerce Department.
United States Goods Trade Balance
  • More than 1,000 artificial intelligence experts signed an open letter calling for a pause in AI development until rules and protocols can be established to mitigate potential harmful effects on society.
  • Nearly 20% of the U.S. workforce is exposed to job encroachment by advanced AI chatbots, according to new research.
  • U.S. single-family home prices fell 0.2% in January compared with the prior month and rose a modest 3.8% year-over-year, according to the widely tracked Case-Shiller index, potentially pulling more buyers back into the housing market.
  • Americans expect home prices to rise just 2.6% over the next year, sharply lower than the 7% expectation measured a year ago.
  • Defaults and vacancies are rising at high-end office buildings across the U.S., a result of dual pressures from remote work and rising interest rates.
  • Shares of ride-hailing company Lyft fell Tuesday after its incoming CEO said the firm was not for sale, contrary to market expectations.
  • Spice-maker McCormick beat quarterly estimates after benefitting from multiple price increases.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance says a national shortage of pharmacy workers is easing.
  • U.S. investment bank Jefferies Financial Group reported a smaller-than-expected drop in quarterly profit despite a lull in dealmaking.
  • Apple launched a new “buy now, pay later” service in the U.S., threatening disruption to companies in the financial-tech sector.
  • Apparel-maker Lululemon Athletica says annual sales and profits will exceed market expectations as consumer demand remains strong.
  • The Illinois House passed a bill that would ban polystyrene foam foodware by 2025.

International Markets

  • Global experts say Russia’s economy is starting a descent into long-term regression.
  • China’s air pollution spiked this month, a result of rebounding industrial activity and unusually warm weather.
  • Canada recorded a record budget deficit of $6.44 billion Canadian dollars in the first ten months of the current fiscal year.
  • A gauge of South Korean consumer sentiment rose to 92 in March, its highest level in nine months, as inflation expectations eased from a month earlier.
  • Australia’s annual rate of inflation hit 6.8% in February, an eight-month low.
Australia Monthly CPI Indicator

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