MH Daily Bulletin: May 31

May 31, 2022 • Posted in Daily Bulletin

News relevant to the plastics industry:

At M. Holland

  • M. Holland is exhibiting during the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo on June 7-8 in Dallas, Texas. This event focused on wire and cable manufacturing offers industry forecasts, technical presentations, networking and more. Join us at Booth #621 to learn more about our supply solutions for wire and cable. 
  • Nick Chodorow has joined M. Holland as Chief Innovation Officer. In this role, Nick will lead efforts to enhance the company’s technology platforms and accelerate its digital journey. Click here to read the full press release.

Supply

  • Oil prices settled higher Friday, with Brent ending the week up 6% compared to a 1.5% gain for WTI. 
  • The EU’s agreement on an embargo on Russian oil sent crude prices higher in mid-morning trading today, with WTI futures up 2.8% at $118.50/bbl and Brent up 1.8% at $123.90/bbl. U.S. natural gas was down 3.4% at $8.43/MMBtu. 
  • The average U.S. gasoline price hit $4.619 a gallon Monday, a new record high and 52% above a year ago. 
Memorial Day real gasoline prices highest since 2012, near record levels

Supply Chain

  • Roughly 76% of land in the western U.S. is under severe drought conditions or worse, up from 72% at the start of last year’s historic drought and wildfire season. 
  • Hurricane Agatha struck Mexico’s Oaxaca state Monday afternoon as a Category 2 storm with winds above 105 mph, the strongest May hurricane to make landfall in the Eastern Pacific from data going back to 1949.
  • The U.S. government is predicting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season for the seventh year in a row:
Number of Major Hurricanes Over Atlantic Rises

Domestic Markets

  • The U.S. reported 28,017 new COVID-19 infections and 27 virus fatalities Monday. 
  • COVID-19 cases are rising across North Carolina, with the state reporting over 29,000 new cases last week, a 151% increase from the same time last month. 
  • California’s Bay Area now has the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state, with three of its counties each reporting more than 200,000 known cases of the virus. 
  • The U.S.’s first “test-to-treat” site opened in Rhode Island, where people who test positive for COVID-19 can immediately start receiving antivirals. 
  • Health officials are planning stepped up testing for monkeypox as the global case count hit 257 and 12 cases were confirmed in eight U.S. states.  
  • Consumer sentiment fell to a 10-year low in May, primarily on fears of inflation, according to a University of Michigan index. 
  • Americans’ personal savings rate fell to 4.4% in April, the lowest since 2008 after topping above 33% in the first year of the pandemic. 
  • The U.S. trade deficit in goods shrank 15.9% to $105.9 billion in April, the steepest decline in 13 years as Chinese lockdowns weighed on imports and exports hit a new record. 
  • Twenty percent of CFOs are planning to cut costs during the next three months in response to inflation, according to surveyor Gartner. 
  • Less than half of Phoenix’s public pools are opening this summer due to a shortage of lifeguards, exemplifying the nation’s continued labor shortage that will hit businesses particularly hard during peak summer months. 
  • The unemployment rate in 17 states in the Midwest, South and Mountain West reached a record low in April
  • Single-family home sales fell sharply by 16.6% in April, the slowest rate of sales in two years. 
New Home Sales Plunge in Face of Surging Costs
  • More than 2,500 U.S. flights were canceled over the Memorial Day weekend holiday, mostly due to inclement weather in the U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. 
  • Gap slashed its annual forecast on weak demand and high transport costs, echoing recent results from peers American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch.  
  • Dell’s revenue rose a larger-than-expected 17% in the first quarter as more enterprises bought its computers to support hybrid work. 
  • Norwegian Air agreed to buy 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and possibly another 30, ending a contract dispute that almost saw the airline switch to Airbus. 
  • Efforts to build a network of public chargers to service millions of electric vehicles are faltering as states drag their feet on disbursing financial support. 
  • Chattanooga saw a surge of new residents during the pandemic, spurred by remote working opportunities in one of the nation’s first municipalities to install a citywide fiber-optic gigabit internet cable. 
  • “Top Gun: Maverick,” originally scheduled for release in 2019, brought in $156 million at the box office last weekend, a Memorial Day record and encouraging sign for beleaguered theaters. 

International Markets

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