MH Daily Bulletin: May 4

May 4, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is excited to be the Headline Sponsor for the upcoming Injection Molding & Design Expo in Detroit! This two-day trade show will highlight the latest technologies, materials, equipment and opportunities in injection molding. The event is May 25-26 and admission is free. Click here to learn more.
  • How can healthcare organizations improve the environmental impact of their healthcare packaging, increase the recyclability of products and reduce overall waste? Read the insight from our experts here.
  • 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.
  • Market Expertise: M. Holland offers a host of resources to clients, prospects and suppliers across nine strategic markets.


  • Oil prices fell about 2.5% Tuesday on prospects of lower demand from China. 
  • U.S. natural gas surged 9% Tuesday to the highest level since 2008, as storage levels remain tight and European demand soared to an April record ahead of tightened sanctions that could lower Russian deliveries. 
Natural gas (USD/MMBtu)
  • In mid-morning trading today, WTI futures were up 3.8% at $106.30/bbl, Brent was up 3.7% at $108.90/bbl, and U.S. natural gas was up 4.9% at $8.35/MMBtu. 
  • More oil news related to the war in Europe:
  • U.S. crude inventories fell a larger-than-expected 3.479 million barrels last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Government data will be released today. 
  • Qatar overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest LNG exporter in April, as more U.S. refineries went down for maintenance. 
  • Marathon’s refining margins jumped 51% in the first quarter while capacity utilization also rose, leading to market-beating profits. 
  • Public exploration and production (E&P) firms are on track to shatter last year’s free cash flow by 70% to $834 billion, Rystad Energy predicts: 
Total FCF* for all public E&Ps & Brent oil price
  • A global funding package is in the works to help low-income nations reduce dirty coal consumption after demand for the fuel surged during the pandemic. 
  • Libyan oil exports are at an 18-month low as political protestors continue blocking ports and storage sites.
  • India faced its worst power crisis in over six years last month as demand hit a record high and coal supplies fell 7.6%. 
  • Over 1,000 climate protestors and counting have been arrested in just the past month while trying to block oil terminal operations in Britain.  

Supply Chain

  • Truck-stop diesel prices hit a record $5.32 a gallon yesterday, up $1.57 since early February. 
  • At an emergency meeting last week, U.S. rail customers pressed federal regulators to address deteriorating rail service
  • American ocean carrier UWL will launch a bi-weekly express service from Ho Chi Minh City to the Port of Seattle later this month, which the firm says will be the fastest trip from Vietnam to the U.S. 
  • Bain Capital and Dallas-based Barber Partners plan to spend $500 million to construct up to 15 new refrigerated warehouses across the U.S. by 2027. 
  • Drewry Shipping Consultants boosted its forecast for collective container-line profits this year by 50% to $300 billion
  • In the latest supply chain news from first-quarter earnings season:
    • Maersk’s ocean business revenue grew 64% to $15.6 billion despite a 7% volume decline. 
    • BNSF’s revenue hit $5.97 billion, up 10% from last year despite a 3% volume decline. 
    • Norfolk Southern’s average revenue per intermodal unit hit $854 million, up 18.8% from a year ago despite a 6% decline in volume. 
    • Ryder System’s first-quarter profit more than tripled to $175.6 million on 28% growth in revenue. 
    • Danish freight forwarder DSV upped its full-year guidance after doubling its first-quarter profit.
  • U.S. tariffs on over $350 billion in Chinese imports are set to expire in July unless enough industries request a review, administration officials said. 
  • Container throughput at China’s Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan likely surpassed 3 million TEUs in April, an all-time high for one of the world’s largest ports. 
  • Computer chip shortages are even impacting semiconductor makers, who could be waiting years in some cases for new equipment to boost production. 
  • April vehicle deliveries slipped 23% at Toyota, 40% at Honda, 20% at Hyundai and 16% at Kia due to production shortfalls
  • At least $3 billion of last year’s $1 trillion U.S. infrastructure bill will go toward financing the U.S. electric-vehicle industry, officials said. 
  • Prices for aluminum and tin are down over 17% from recent all-time highs as Chinese lockdowns erode demand. 
  • The market for supply-chain artificial intelligence could be worth $20 billion in the next five years, according to research firm Gartner. 
  • The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will test 100 electric trucks in container operations this year. 
  • Macy’s is accelerating a rollout of small retail stores aimed at facilitating e-commerce purchases and offering small batches of brand new inventory. 
  • More supply chain news related to the war in Ukraine:
The EU Dependence on Russian Energy Charted

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 61,743 new COVID-19 infections and 745 virus fatalities Tuesday. 
  • COVID-19 cases rose at least 50% last week in eight states, including Washington, Georgia, Maine and Hawaii. 
  • COVID-19 cases among American children were 61% higher last week than the two weeks prior. 
  • New York state officials warned of two new subvariants of Omicron spreading about 25% faster than the BA.2 subvariant. The new subvariants now account for over 90% of infections in central New York. Research suggests the variants are better able to dodge immunity from vaccination or previous infection. 
  • A new wave of COVID-19 erupted just five days after Puerto Rico lifted all restrictions, with daily cases now around 4,000 compared to 200 in March. 
  • The CDC maintained recommendations that travelers wear masks in airplanes, trains and airports despite a legal challenge that struck down the agency’s mandate. 
  • Studies suggest that severe COVID-19 infection can age the brain by up to 20 years in some people and erode IQ by 10 points.  
  • Three top officials with the FDA suggested the post-pandemic “normal” could include an annually updated COVID-19 shot alongside a seasonal flu shot. 
  • The Federal Reserve is expected to deliver its first half-percentage-point rate hike since 2000 today, along with plans to start reducing its $9 trillion asset portfolio that more than doubled during the pandemic.
  • Consumer and tech firms that surged during pandemic-era lockdowns have lost hundreds of billions in market value in recent weeks. 
  • Poorer tech earnings and a combination of economic headwinds led to one of the worst stock market routs in a decade last month:
Tech Rout Drags Nasdaq to Worst Months Since 2008
  • The U.S. will extend by 1.5 years the expiring work permits of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, a bid to aid worker shortages. 
  • The median price for a single-family home hit $368,200 in the first quarter, up 15.7% from the same time last year. Foreclosure filings are up 132% from a year ago. 
  • In the latest news from first-quarter earnings season:
    • Pfizer saw first-quarter sales rise a larger-than-expected 77% to $25.7 billion, driven by sales of pandemic products. 
    • U.S. car renter Avis posted a 77% rise in first-quarter revenue to $2.4 billion, an all-time high. 
    • Despite promising revenue gains from first-quarter ridership, shares of ride-hailer Lyft fell 26% in late trading yesterday after it said it would boost spending in the current quarter to attract and retain drivers, raising concerns about operating profit. 
    • Airbnb expects to post its first full-year net profit after first-quarter revenue climbed 70% on high demand for longer stays at expensive suburban rentals. 
    • Cosmetic maker Estee Lauder sharply cut full-year sales forecasts as lockdowns hamper demand in China, one of its biggest markets. 
    • Global insurance conglomerate AIG saw profits rise almost 10% on fewer catastrophe losses and higher premiums, while Prudential swung to a $31 million loss on investment losses and charges related to high interest rates. 
  • Electric-vehicle startup Rivian will get $1.5 billion from the state of Georgia for a massive new factory near Atlanta. 
  • A Washington battery startup is building a new factory in Moses Lake, Washington, which could produce more efficient batteries for some 500,000 electric vehicles by 2025. 
  • Google, Tesla and a variety of private equity investors have pumped $2 billion into carbon-removal technology in recent months. 

International Markets

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